Just like everyone else, Michele and I are trying to make the best of being confined to home, which in our case is a small apartment. For us that means we are doing a lot of reading, tv watching, household projects and of course, eating and drinking. Luckily, we had done a big shopping trip when we returned home from Italy and stocked up on some of our favorite Italian ingredients. I keep a supply of wines on hand, so whatever Michele decides to cook, or is able to cook with what she finds in the pantry or refrigerator, I can match a wine to it. With a good supply of pasta on hand, there is always something good to look forward to.
One day it was one of Michele’s childhood favorites. Broken spaghetti with peas, eggs and cheese. She uses frozen peas for this dish, and they are perfectly delicious, sweet and fresh tasting.
Beneventano Falaghina ‘”Resilienza “2018 Donna Chiara made from 100% Falanghina The soil is chalky and the training system is guyot. Harvest is the first two weeks of October. There is a soft pressing of the grapes and then they are cooled 50 degrees F for 4 to 5 hours. This is followed a with static decantations. Fermentation is at 57 to 60 degrees F in steel tanks for 15 days. Malolactic fermentation does not take place. The wine has floral notes with hints of citrus fruit, pear and apricot with good acidity and a long finish. I am always impressed by the Falaghina from Donna Chiara.
Another day, she tried a recipe from one of Marcella Hazan’s books. It was spaghetti with bacon and zucchini. It doesn’t look that interesting in the photos, but we liked it.
I was craving tomato sauce, so Michele made a simple one with olive oil, garlic, canned Italian tomatoes, and some basil that she had in the freezer. It will have to do until we can get some fresh basil or plant some when the weather is better.
The only time we have pasta leftover is when Michele makes a double batch so that she can fry it the next day. She mixes the cold pasta — any kind will do — with eggs and grated cheese and fries it in a little olive oil in a non-stick skillet until crispy and browned. This was made with the remains of the spaghetti with zucchini and bacon.
Here we have spaghetti once again, with broccoli cooked until very soft with garlic olive oil and hot pepper. Mashed with a little of the pasta water, it makes a kind of pesto to toss with the pasta.
Soave Superiore DOCG “Monte San Pietro” Sandro De Bruno made from 100% Garganega from the hills around Roncà, at 330 meters. The soil is volcanic, there are 4,000 vines per hectare, the training system is Pergoletta Veronese and the exposure is south. Fermentation is in big oak barrels of 30hl. This is a well-structured, complex wine with hints of tropical fruit, citrus fruit white pepper and a floral note with a very pleasing after taste and a long finish. A great Soave.
This spaghetti was tossed with fresh scallops, garlic, parsley and hot pepper. She finished it with some toasted breadcrumbs.
Barbera d’Alba” Bricco di Merli” 2001 Cogno made from 100% Barbara from a 1.8 hectare vineyard at 300 meters, There are 4,500 plants per hectare and the training system is vertical trellised with guyot pruning. Vinification in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with automatic pumping over. The wine is aged for six months in large Slavonian casks and 6 months in bottle before release. This is the fourth bottle of this wine I have had and it is showing very well for a wine 19 years old. Barbara can age. It has hints of dried prunes and cherries with a hint of spice.
Fresh fettuccine is the preferred pasta for a slow simmered Ragu Bolognese, made with pork, beef and a variety of vegetables. But we had it with dried penne rigati.
Montefalco Rosso 2016 Bocale made from 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sangiovese, 10 % Merlot and 5% Colorino. Harvest is by hand the last days of September and the first days of October. Vinification is with natural enzymes and there is no stabilization or filtration. The wine is aged in barrels and barriques for 12 months. The wine has hints of violets and cherry with spicy notes
One day, a homemade pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella was a nice break from pasta. It was even good reheated the next day.
A bunch of fresh asparagus was the inspiration for this creamy risotto.
Michele fried the remainder into cakes the next day, similar to the fried spaghetti I mentioned previously.
With so much bad news, good meals are a joy and a comfort. We hope you are eating and drinking well too.