A perfect Winter warmer using in season pears.


  • 400 g penne pasta (‘de cecco’ brand if possible)
  • garnish
  • 100 g cashel blue cheese
  • 25 g cashel blue reserved for garnish
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 50 g rocket (chopped roughly)
  • 1 leek washed and sliced finely
  • 25 g roasted hazelnuts (crushed)
  • 25 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • drop of sherry vinegar
  • fresh pepper
  • for poached pears
  • 4 williams’s pears (peel and cored)
  • 600 ml red wine
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 orange “zest and juice”
  • 1 clove
  • 0.5 cinnamon stick


  • Heat the red wine with the other ingredients. Place the pears into the liquor and bring to the boil. Simmer until the pears are tender.
  • Leave for 24 hours if possible. Cut the pears into large dice.
  • To serve
  • Sweat the leeks in the olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add the cream and bring to the boil. Crumble the Cashel blue whisking until smooth.
  • Cook the penne pasta in seasoned boiling water until al dente. Bind the pasta with the sauce adding a drop of sherry vinegar.
  • Add the rocket and pears. Taste – season with fresh pepper. Divide into four warm bowls. Place the remaining Cashel cheese onto the bowls with the hazelnuts.