After only a few days in Franciacorta, I was totally smitten.The sparkling wine there is fantastic, the area is in the gorgeous Italian countryside, and the people were so kind. But, when it comes to food, far and away our meal at Barboglio de Gaioncelli was my favorite. And, of that meal, their risotto made with Franciacorta wine and robiola cheese and their creamy Casoncelli pasta were my favorites. So, when I got back, I combined the two to create this dish, inspired by the restaurant and the ingredients of the area. It’s like a more decadent twist on Champagne risotto but made with Franciacorta sparkling wine, pears, crisp speck (smoked prosciutto), and tons of cheese, it’s the perfect Risotto with Pears and Speck recipe for colder weather. Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
Risotto with Pears and Speck Recipe
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 ounces thinly sliced speck or prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium leeks ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup Franciacorta or another sparkling wine
- 2 medium ripe Red d'Anjou pears diced
- Dash white balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese or robiola bosina cheese, for garnish (optional)
- Heat The Broth: Heat the oven to 400°F. Place broth in a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
- Sauté The Leek: Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add leek, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Crisp The Speck Or Prosciutto: Meanwhile, arrange the speck or prosciutto in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, add the grains and stir to coat in the oil. Add the wine and cook until the alcohol smell is cooked off.
- Simmer The Risotto: Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, adding the broth one ladleful at a time and stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed (it should be cooking at a simmer the whole time). Continue adding broth until it is all absorbed and the barley is al dente (firm but not chalky) and the risotto is a porridge-like consistency, about 30 minutes.
- Finish The Risotto: Stir in 1 cup of water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir in pears. If desired, add vinegar, cover and set aside to rest a few minutes. Stir in the Parmiggiano cheese then taste and adjust seasoning.
- Divide risotto among serving bowls, top with mascarpone or robiola, drizzle with olive oil, top with crisp speck, add freshly ground black pepper, and serve.