One of the best presents I have ever received is a cookbook from my dear friend, Dana. It is called ‘Cheese: Sumptuous Cheese Recipes for all Occasions’. Oh, she knows me so well.
This is my take on the cookbook’s ‘Sage and Gorgonzola Risotto’ recipe.
scant 4 tbsp unsalted butter
150 g pancetta
1 sm onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
scant 1 1/2 cups risotto rice
1/2 white wine
4 cups reduced sodium hot vegetable stock
200g Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh red grapes, halved (or sub. 1/4 cup crisp pear, diced)
2 tbsp minced fresh sage, plus extra, whole, to garnish
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
pepper to taste
Start by adding half the butter in a large pan or skillet and cook the pancetta over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the fat melts, and the pancetta begins to brown and get slightly crispy.
I used a pack of President’s Choice pancetta. It was pretty inexpensive, and contained exactly 150g which was perfect for the recipe. I was happy with the quality, too. If you do not have any pancetta on hand, a thick-cut bacon will do trick (just add 1 tbsp of butter instead of 2).
Add the rice and stir to coat the pancetta mixture. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Start to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next. Continue adding the stock until it is all absorbed, and the rice is creamy but still firm to the bite.
Serve immediately, garnished with sage and Parmesan.