We park our car on a piece of land owned by the ‘Torino’ club, of which we are members. The Torino club exists to celebrate the successes of a football club in the premier Italian league,Serie A, and also to allow local men to go of an afternoon to play cards and drink cheap red wine. For our 10 Euros per year we can park and men only can enjoy the relative calm of the club. Now 2 years ago the organisers at the club, invited me, and other members out for lunch at a local restaurant. As is the way of things around here, lunch turned out to be a 15 course blowout that took about 4 1/2 hours. Of those 15 courses, 10 were antipasti. Antipasti are not meant to fill you up, but more to whet your appetite for things to come. Of course some antipasti are so tasty that you really want more.
Pear and Gorgonzola is such an antipasto. When I first had this many years ago, I was unfamiliar with the taste combination, and until I had my first mouthful I was skeptical that it would work. But it is like other taste combinations, that seem to be heaven sent. You want more, but it is quite rich and in the final analysis, a little is just the right amount. Interestingly this taste combination is available locally as a pizza topping.
It is simplicity itself, using just those 2 ingredients, apart from a little butter to grease the dish, and takes no time at all to produce. If you are hosting a dinner party you must include this as one of the courses.
This recipe is for 2 people, but is easily scaled up for any number.
1 large firm pear
100 gm Gorgonzola (dolce rather than piccante)(sweet rather than sharp), which has been in the FREEZER for 2 hours. It needs to be hard enough to grate.
a little butter
Grease a 25 cm/10 inches dia baking dish or similar size rectangular dish.
Cut the pear lengthwise in to 4 equal pieces. Cut out the core from each section.
If the pear is hard or firm then cut slice 3 mm/ 1/8th inch thick. If it is ripe then increase the thickness and use perhaps 2 pears.
Arrange the slices, close together in the baking dish.
Coarsely grate the Gorgonzola, and spread it equally over the pear slices.
Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 4/ Moderate in a pre set oven or for a similar time under a moderate grill.
Serve immediately on hot plates.