On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree: The countdown has begun. The season of giving and receiving, cooking and eating, sharing and enjoying. From Annabel Cohen, one of the world’s most creative cooks, I have just received 12 pasta recipes. Now, I will give them to you, one per day,  so that you can cook and eat, share and enjoy, the 12 days of al dente pasta!

Annabel’s FIRST Day of Pasta

(Don’t let the idea of pears and pasta scare you away. This is a wonderfully savory combination)

3 medium pears, any variety (about 1 pound), unpeeled
2 Tbsp. olive oil 1/2 cup white wine 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 12 ounces Al Dente Fettuccine (any flavor)
1 1/2 cups grated Manchego cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup almonds slivers, lightly toasted
1 cup chopped fresh parsley Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Cut pears in half lengthwise and use a melon-baller to remove seeds. Cut the pears into thin wedges (about 16 for each pear) and toss them in large bowl with the olive oil. Arrange the pears on a baking sheet with sides and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Combine wine, chicken broth and nutmeg  in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the volume is about half. Keep warm. Set aside.
Cook pasta for 3 minutes until just al dente. Drain well and transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add the wine/broth and remaining ingredients and toss well. Makes 6 servings.

2 days left to receive 10% off of Al Dente Pasta Gifts when ordered at www.aldentepasta.com. Enter code ADTHNKS09 at the checkout and the 10% will be automatically deducted. (code expires on December 17th at 12:00 PM EST)