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Fossa cheese and pears in wine

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When it comes to cheeses, it's clear by now, I feel involved: partly because I'm greedy for them and partly because, loving them, I've tried to deepen my knowledge of them. In all of this I was lucky enough to meet a refiner like Renato Brancaleoni who, like a university professor, every time explains to me in detail the production and refinement (fundamental!) of the forms that, with painstaking care, he chooses in all of Italy and beyond. A kind of magician who starts from one thing and tadà he brings out another one for you. Prodigies of time and technique: refinement is also this.

But let's get back to the subject of this post: Fossa cheese. I had the opportunity to talk about the production technique and history both on Honest Cooking where I published this recipe, and on Gente del Fud, if you want to find out more, I'll refer you there. Today I would like to share with you one of my limitations: when the cheese is mature and particularly good I can't help but eat it as it is. In purity, they say. I can never find a recipe that would be suitable. And in reality there are some with pits that are amazing, however… The most I can give them is to be grated on top of a plate of gnocchi with borlotti beans 🙂

And so the recipe I show you doesn't actually touch the cheese but only serves to enhance its goodness. The procedure is very simple, they are pears in red wine cut into cubes and served as a side dish with cheese. The first time I ate them at the Locanda del Gambero Rosso in S.Piero in Bagno, a real delight. If desired, a couple of extra slices of cheese and, voilà, this dish becomes unique from an appetizer and how delicious!

Fossa cheese and pears in red wine (for 4 people)

  • 2 large pears
  • 60 g of acacia honey
  • 60 g of sugar
  • ½ liter of red wine (Sangiovese Superiore)
  • 12 thin slices of sheep's milk Fossa cheese
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 grains of juniper
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 star anise berries
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • Zest of one organic lemon

Pour the wine into a pan and add the honey and sugar. Place on the heat and bring to the boil. At this point add the spices and lemon zest and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the previously washed but unpeeled pears and leave to cook for 30 minutes over low heat and covered.

Once cooked, remove the pears from the liquid and reduce it to syrup if it has not already been reduced previously. Filter the wine and cut the pears into cubes, keep everything aside. Assemble the dish by placing the slices of cheese on one side and the pear cubes on the other on which to pour a generous spoonful of wine reduction.

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