Pears in Marsala Wine Sauce

Pere al Marsala

Cooking With Nick Stellino
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Ingredients:

4 large pears, peeled and cored
2 cups dry Marsala wine
1 cup C&H® or Domino® sugar
Pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped, for garnish
Fresh mint, for garnish

Sweetened Ricotta:
½ cup C&H® or Domino® sugar
1 cup ricotta
¼ cup pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
Serves 4
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Cut a small slice from the bottom of each of the pears so they will stand up straight in the saucepan without falling over. In a saucepan large enough to hold the pears, bring the wine and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring well. Once the mixture reaches a boil, cook for 3 more minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and gently place the pears, standing up, in the saucepan, being careful not to splash yourself with the hot wine-and-sugar mixture.
Place the pan back on the stove and cook the pears over medium-low heat—15 to 20 minutes for a firm texture or 30 to 40 minutes for a softer texture—basting the pears with the wine-and-sugar mixture every 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pears stand in the wine sauce until they reach room temperature. While they’re cooling, make the Sweetened Ricotta.
To prepare the Sweetened Ricotta:
In a large bowl, mix the sugar and the ricotta together, then fold in the chopped toasted pistachio nuts.
To serve:
Place a quarter of the Sweetened Ricotta in each of four dessert dishes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer each of the pears to a dish, and place on top of the Sweetened Ricotta. Top with the wine sauce, and garnish with toasted chopped pistachios and fresh mint leaves.
Chef’s Note:
For an elegant alternative presentation, cut the pears in half. Place the pear halves, cut side down, on top of the Sweetened Ricotta, then top them with the wine sauce, and garnish with toasted chopped pistachios and fresh mint leaves.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions