Farm Fresh to You sent us a bunch of pears we needed to use up, so I went on a hunt for pear recipes. This one sounded interesting. It turned out perfectly edibly (except for the fried sage leaves – I wasn’t careful and they got too done and were bitter. I wasn’t that bummed out, I just used some parsley on top of the risotto instead) but you really can’t taste the pear much. I’d probably be more likely to make the second of my two pear-using attempts before I’d go back to this one, simply because it highlights the pears more. Look for it tomorrow.
- Olive oil, or canola oil
- 2 thin slices prosciutto, (1 ounce), 1 thinly sliced crosswise and 1 finely chopped, divided
- 4 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage, divided [I burned the sage leaves for the garnish, I just used parsley instead]
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 cup arborio, carnaroli or other medium-grain Italian rice
- 2 cups finely diced peeled ripe Bosc pears, (about 2 pears), divided
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving if desired [I used Asiago]
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Set a small strainer over a heatproof bowl. Heat about 1/2 inch of olive or canola oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the sliced prosciutto and sage leaves and fry just until crisp, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain in the strainer then spread out on a paper towel. Set aside.
- Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer.
- Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the chopped prosciutto and shallot; cook, stirring, until the shallot is just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced sage, rice and 1 cup pears; stir to coat with the oil. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the wine is almost absorbed by the rice, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Add enough of the hot broth to just cover the rice mixture. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the broth is absorbed. Continue to add the hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer, until the rice begins to get creamy, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup pears.
- Continue to add broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer, until the rice is just tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. (You may not need all of the simmering broth.) Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 minute. Stir in cheese and butter. Season with pepper.
- Serve the risotto garnished with the fried sage leaves, fried prosciutto and additional cheese, if desired.
–Recipe courtesy EatingWell magazine, October/November 2006.
The finished risotto, with improvised green garnish: