Gorgonzola, Pancetta and Onion Cheesecake
- RECIPE YEAR: 2015
- RECIPE BY: Jeff Young of Twist Eatery, Forestville
- YIELD: Serves 12
- PAIRS WELL WITH: Shippey Vineyards "Flaming J" Petite Sirah
Serve this sumptuous, savory tart as an entrée or as an appetizer for a crowd. The creamy piquancy of the Gorgonzola pairs perfectly with the bold, lush fruit of the Petite Sirah, elevating the dynamic flavors of both.
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
Grease a 12-by-17-inch baking sheet. To make the crust, in a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the cornmeal, garlic, salt and oregano. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. When the mixture is cooked, stir in the Asiago. Pour the cornmeal mixture into the prepared baking sheet and smooth out evenly. Let cool.
- 5 packages (each 8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 pound Gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
- 12 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 pound pancetta, chopped
- 1 large onion, minced
Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the cream cheese, Gorgonzola and garlic until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In a sauté pan, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the cornmeal crust and spread until smooth. Sprinkle the pancetta and onion on top, pressing them lightly on the cream cheese mixture. Bake until firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. This versatile dish can be served as an appetizer by cutting into 1-inch squares, or as an entrée by cutting into 4-inch squares and serving with your favorite salad.