Inspired by the famous Roman Cacio e Pepe pasta dish, I wanted to try to twist that recipe into a risotto and add the pear to balance the savory flavor of the Cacio (Pecorino Romano DOP). Final verdict? I’ll let your tastebuds discover!
Spoiler alert: It is delectable.
Ingredients: (2 Servings)
1 Cup Carnaroli or Arborio Rice
1/4 Medium Onion Chopped (half for to cook the pears and half to toast the rice)
2 Ripe Pears Diced
3/4 Cup Cacio (Pecorino Romano DOP grated)
4 Tbs Unsalted Butter ( 2 tbs for the pear and 2 tbs to cream the risotto)
4 Tbs EVOO
2 Tsp Sea Salt
4-5 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Glass Dry White Wine
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
1. In a saucepan at medium heat, add 2 tbs of unsalted butter and once melted, add the diced pears and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes adding a little bit of the hot vegetable broth. Turn the heat off and put the saucepan on the side.
2. In a medium bottomed saucepan, warm up the EVOO at medium heat and add the chopped onion. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent. Add rice to the pot and stir it briskly for about 2-3 minutes with wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and they will get a slightly nutty aroma (that’s the toasting process), but don’t let the rice turn brown.
3. Add the wine, cook while stirring until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a little bit of hot vegetable broth to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another bit of broth and repeat the process. Add salt and pepper, stir constantly especially while the hot broth gets absorbed to prevent sticking. Continue adding the broth for about 15 minutes, then add the pears in. Stir, adding the broth, adjust with salt if necessary.
4. Taste the grains and when they are tender, add a little bit more of the broth (if you run out you can finish with hot water), turn the heat off, add the remaining tablespoons of butter, add the cacio and black pepper. Stir quickly until it is nice and creamy. Serve and sprinkle more cacio and black pepper.