I had the privilege of making this zabaglione for the first time during a 10-week working farm trip to Northern Italy. My host Silvia Volonta, a fantastic chef in her own right, created this zabaglione recipe to teach me how to make it the “traditional Italian way.” In the recipe below, I pair Silvia’s zabaglione with sautéed pears for a sophisticated and light finish to your holiday feast.
4 firm ripe pears, cored
1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks
6 teaspoons sugar
1 cup Moscato d’ Asti (any good Moscato or Marsala wine will do)
Slice pears and set aside.
Prepare the zabaglione by adding egg yolks and sugar to a double boiler. Turn heat under double boiler to medium. Beat mixture rapidly with a whisk until it begins to foam (1-2 minutes). Add Moscato and continue whisking vigorously. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Whisking does take some elbow grease, about 15 minutes total. Zabaglione is ready when it is foamy, dense and almost three times its original volume. Take off heat and set aside.
Prepare the pears by melting butter, brown sugar, nutmeg and salt in your skillet over medium heat. Add pears and sauté for 6-9 minutes or until they reach desired consistency. Remove from heat and plate (or serve in martini glasses for a fun option).
Spoon zabaglione over pears and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.