Prosciutto with Caramelized Pears

Yield: 6 Servings

3 Pears (bosc preferred)
3 tb Olive Oil (Ext-Virg. pref.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tb Blue cheese (gorgonzola dolce* preferred)
3 tb Mascarpone cheese*
12 sl (thin) prosciutto (prosciutto di parma pref.)
6 Sprigs of Watercress (or more to taste)
1/4 c Skinned & toasted hazelnuts (or walnuts)

(* Available at Italian markets and some specialty food stores)

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Wash and fry pears, slice them in half lengthwise. Rub the pear halves all over with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on a heavy
sheet pan and roast on a rack set low in the oven until soft and cut sides have browned and caramelized (40 -45 min.)
2. Meanwhile, place blue cheese and mascarpone in mixer and cream together. Taste and season with salt an pepper if desired. Set aside. Arrange 2 slices of prosciutto on each of 6 plates and position a watercress sprig on the side.
3. When the pears are soft, remove them from the oven. Remove the cores with a spoon. (Recipe may be done ahead to this point. Reheat oven before continuing.) Place 1 Tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the hollow of each pear half. Return to the oven until cheeses melt (5 -7 min.)
4. Transfer half-pears, 1 to each plate. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over each and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serve at once with a fruity red wine such as dolcetto.
Source: Laura Bernnan

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