Picture
This dish makes us so nostalgic for the Cinque Terre. We went there as a short honeymoon and the beauty and wonderful flavors of the region did us in. We fell in love all over again. I can't say too much about this recipe without getting a little glassy eyed and so will just post this recipe as is. The basil was from our garden, but we brought back some olive oil from the Ligurian region to get a more "authentic" taste.

Ingredients
1/2 pound trofiette pasta or other short tubular shape
4 oz. fresh basil
4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese or Pe
2 tablespoons pinoli nuts (pine nuts)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (light in flavor)
Salt for pasta water and to taste,
blanched string beans(optional)
boiled potatoes(optional)

Wash the basil leaves in cold water and dry them on a towel. With a marble mortar and wooden pestle pound the garlic into a paste. The garlic should not overwhelm the basil. Add some salt and grind it into the garlic paste. Add the basil a little at a time and with a gentle swirling motion grinding it into the garlic. You get the best taste by gently grinding the leaves. At this point add the pine nuts, a handful at a time. When the nuts are soft and incorporated start adding the cheese. Begin to add the extra virgin olive oil. It is important the flavor of the oil is light so that it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the basil. The light olive oil of the Luguria blends perfectly with the basil mixture.
Boil the water salting it sufficiently and drop in the trofiette.  Toss it well with the pesto and serve the grated cheese either Parmesan or Pecorino on the side. Drizzle the same light extra virgin olive oil over the top.

Picture

2009 Hugues de Beauvignac Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul-De-Pinet
A Cinqueterre DOC would be my favorite pick for this traditional Ligurian dish. However, since these wines are hard to find outside of their region, I have selected a fresh Southern French one. Picpoul blanc is a grape variety grown mostly in the Languedoc region and it produces light bodied and lemon flavored wines.
This wine has been vinified in stainless steel temperature controlled vats and neither underwent malolactic fermentation nor saw oak barrels.

Tasting notes:
Pale straw color with green shimmers. Citrus driven nose, along with wet rocks and floral notes. Light bodied, lively and elegant wine, with a relatively low acidity that provides a good balance, as this wine is not on the fruity side. The flavor is mostly fresh crushed lemon (retail $9.99 - AVIN3572954729636).

 
 
Picture
"Sweet, salty, sour, and oh so delicious", is this Southeast Asian style salad. If you have not tried Papaya Salad before, and you are lucky enough to live near a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant, go there now and try this dish! This is a summertime staple in our house because it's a light healthy meal that can be made very quickly (and we think is just as good, if not better the second day). The initial recipe came from Saveur magazine and was made with beef jerkey, but I found that adding broiled shrimp was just as tasty and made this dish even lighter.

Green Papaya Salad with Broiled Shrimp
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Thai chiles, stemmed, seeded,
   and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 green papaya
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups loosely packed, roughly
   torn Thai basil or cilantro

handful of cherry tomatoes
4 oz. Shrimp(prebroiled)

1. Whisk together fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chiles, and garlic in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Set dressing aside.
2. Peel papaya and trim ends. Halve papaya lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the thin white layer lining the cavity. Using a Japanese mandoline fitted with the julienne blade, cut the papaya into 1/8" thick strips. Transfer papaya to a colander and sprinkle with the salt and sugar; toss to combine. Let sit until juicy and pliant, 30–45 minutes.
3. Rinse papaya under cold water and drain. Working in batches, transfer papaya to a tea towel and wring out excess moisture. Place papaya in a large bowl and toss to separate the strips. Add reserved dressing along with the basil /cilantro and tomatoes, then toss to combine. Serve topped with the broiled shrimp.

SERVES 4

Picture
2009 Stony Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Stony bay is a label made by Matariki Wines for the US market. It is a blend of 85.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 14.5% Semillon coming from vineyards in Hawkes Bay, on the North Island of New Zealand. The vinification has been carried out in stainless steel vats with a few months of on the sediments.

Tasting notes:
Pale straw color. Nice fruit on the nose: grapefruit, pineapple, green papaya with a hint of grass and wet stones. Light bodied and crisp. The grapefruit is definitely there, but it is not overbearing the flavors of guava and the grassiness of this wine. There is also a nice minerality following through; I think Stony Bay is an appropriate name for this wine. The acidity is mild, or perhaps it is just a sensation due to the right amount of grapefruit (retail $12.99 - AVIN0522925835517 )



 
 
Picture
Salmon is the buzz word on the street. It seems everywhere people are trying to eat healthier and make better choices regarding their diets. And, why not? I guess people actually want to live longer and feel better as we "gracefully" enter maturity. We love salmon for being so healthy, but we also love it for being so simple to make. If you are not a fishy taste person, salmon might not be the fish for you, but that is not the case with us, so we tend to indulge about once a week or so. It is a wonderful fish to have on hand whenever you need something quick, and healthy at a moment's notice.

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
Directions
  1. In a bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. (Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally if you can.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Place fillets in oven, and bake 15 to 30 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

Picture
2006 Seresin Leah Pinot Noir
Due to its rich texture, salmon is probably the easiest fish to pair with red wine. A Pinot Noir is the easiest choice because it is a light bodied wine with a subtle fruit that will not overpower the flavor of the fish. However, one have to pay attention to Californian PN, as some wineries like to blend them with a small amount of Syrah to boost color and flavor. New Zealand Pinot Noir are generally lighter, earthier and with less new oak influence. Only 25% of this wine has been aged in French barrels. 

Tasting notes
:
Leather and smoky notes are dominant in the intriguing nose of this wine; there is some underbrush too, and the fruit is a subtle red cherry. On the palate it is light, delicate and silky; I got more fruit than what I could guess just by the bouquet, along with a slight earthiness and a subtle wood influence. The most interesting flavor is cola: it starts in the mid palate and follows throughout the finish with a beautiful pepperiness that evokes the effect of carbonation. (retail $ 29.99 - AVIN 7333286798174)

 
 
Picture
When the vegetables are really wonderful, and we can locally source many of the veggies nearby, we tend to go a little crazy and purchase way more veggies than what was intended.  Fortunately for us, Julia Child's always come to the rescue when we throw up our hands and wonder what to do. Although ratatouille is not a quick and easy recipe, the end result will make you happy to have tried it. This particular recipe is actually a combination of both Julia's and the one from Epicurious. If you are a veggie lover, then you gotta try this recipe.

1 lb tomatoes (2 large)
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or minced for stronger flavor)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (use more if needed)
1 lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1large onions (1/2-1 lb total), quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
2 assorted bell peppers (1 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini (1 lb), quartered and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoon minced parsley or thyme
  • Cut an X in bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife and blanch together in a 4-quart pot of boiling water 1 minute. Transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, peel off skin, beginning from scored end, with paring knife.
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and transfer to a 5-quart heavy pot with garlic, parsley, basil, and 1/3 cup oil. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • While sauce is simmering, toss eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large colander and let stand in sink 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook onions in 3 tablespoons oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to a large casserole dish, then add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook bell peppers with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon to dish with onions. Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini with slotted spoon to bowl with other vegetables.
  • Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices Correct seasoning, if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.
Picture
2009 Domaine de la Semellerie Chinon
Chinon is the finest appellations for reds in the Loire Valley. Its wines are at least 90% Cab Franc, with the remainder being Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made with 100% Cab Franc coming from 25-35 years old vines. It has been bottled straight from the vat, without oak ageing.



Tasting notes:
Light purple color. On the nose it shows fresh raspberry, black tea, celery and incense. Medium bodied with a silky mouth feel and flavors of strawberry and raspberry. There is a good dose of black pepper on the finish. Pretty high in tannins and acidity, this is a very food friendly wine (retail $12.99 - AVIN0480934192376)



 
 
Picture
The first time I ever tried spanakopita I knew i was in love. Maybe it was the fact that it came from such a romantic and exotic land :Greece, or maybe it was the crispy skin encasing the oh-so- fragrant mixture of spinach, feta cheese and spices, but whatever it was that struck me down from the beginning has held me captive to this dish ever since. I adore spanakopita, and although it's not exactly fat free, I do try and indulge just a little as often as I can.

Yield: approximately 40 triangles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds fresh baby spinach, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 12 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry sheets
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes until soft. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and continue to saute until the spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, remove from heat and place in a colander, and squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside to cool. The filling needs to be cool and dry to prevent the phyllo from becoming soggy. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with feta, coriander, and nutmeg. Season, then fold in the cooled spinach mixture until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, brush 2 baking sheets with some melted butter. Unroll the phyllo dough and lay a sheet flat on a work surface. Take care to keep the phyllo covered with a damp, not wet, towel as you work to prevent drying out and becoming brittle. Brush the sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with some oregano and chives. Repeat with 2 more sheets of phyllo, stacking on top of each other. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the sheets lengthwise into thirds to form 2 1/2-inch strips. Do this with all the sheets of dough.

Place a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of the layered phyllo strip. Fold the end at an angle over the filling to form a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip until you reach the end, like folding up a flag. Brush the top with butter and dust with Parmesan, place on prepared baking sheet, and cover while preparing the remaining pastries. Repeat until all the filling and phyllo strips are used up. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the triangles are crisp and golden. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Picture
2009 Wienzer Krems Niederösterreich Grüner Veltliner
I had a nice white Santorini ready for this dish; Sandra likes to make it from scratch and sometime, when I'm single, I buy the frozen version from Costco. However, I opened the bottle only to discover it was oxidized. OK; backup plan. I always keep a bottle of Grüner Veltliner in my cellar. We love this wine. I met it the first time in its homeland: Austria, where I lived for 4 years. GV is the most prominent Austrian wine, and its white peppery profile makes it a vegetable friendly wine. It will work also with wine killer veggies like asparagus and artichokes, as well as shrimps and poultry.
Tasting Notes:
Pale straw color with green hues. The nose opens with dominant apricots, then sweet herbs and citrus comes from in the back door. Lemon driven palate that shows a nice minerality too. It also has an herbaceous profile along with white pepper and raw almond. Medium bodied and crisp, it lacks a bit of elegance and it finishes a bit short, but it's overall enjoyable (retail $8.99 - AVIN2231913518384).



 
 
Picture
So, I've been really having a great time with Nick Malgieri's book: "The Moderm Baker". I have been drooling over all his beautiful and really interesting recipes for both classic favorites and some obscure finds. I have been very interested in his olive oil pie crust and wanted to use one of his recipes that called for it. So, when I found the goat cheese and roasted red pepper recipe, I knew I had to try it! Not only was this dish divine, It was a marvelous light dinner that tasted really "special". Don't let the olive oil crust intimidate you-- it's really an easy dough to put together.

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Tart

Adapted from "The Modern Baker," by Nick Malgieri
Makes one 10- or 11-inch tart (about 8 generous servings)
  • 4 medium red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, cut into very thin slices
  • Olive Oil Dough for a 10- to 11-inch single crust (recipe follows)
  • 10 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled, at room temperature
  • 6 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
To roast the peppers, position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler element and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place the peppers on their sides on the lined baking sheet. Broil until their skins are charred on top, then use tongs to turn each pepper onto a second side. Repeat until the peppers are evenly charred on all sides and have collapsed. (Alternatively, use an outdoor gas grill set on medium and char the peppers right on the grill.)
Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. The peppers will steam as they begin to cool, and the skins will loosen on their own. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, place them in a colander and stem, peel and seed them. (Do not peel the peppers under running water or much of their flavor will be lost.) Return the peppers to the bowl as they are cleaned, and continue until all the peppers have been cleaned and seeded.
Place a layer of peppers in a medium shallow bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and drizzle on a scant amount of olive oil. Scatter a few of the garlic slices over the peppers. Repeat until you have layered all the peppers with the seasonings. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days. If you make the peppers more than a day before baking the tart, remove the garlic no more than 24 hours after adding it.
Lightly flour a work surface. If using a rectangular tart pan, press the Olive Oil Dough into a large square, turning it 90 degrees between presses. Roll out the dough on the floured surface, rolling away from you, until the dough is large enough to cover the tart pan bottom and come up the sides. (Add a bit of flour to the work surface as needed to keep the dough from sticking as you work.) Use the rolling pin to sever the dough at the pan's edge, then use your thumb and forefinger to press in and down at the same time to form the top edge of the tart crust.
When ready to bake, set an oven rack on the lowest level of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees.
Sprinkle the unbaked tart crust with half of the goat cheese, then cover the cheese with a layer of the marinated peppers, overlapping them slightly if necessary to make them fit (make sure the garlic has been discarded). Repeat with the remaining cheese and peppers, ending with peppers on top.
Whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper to taste and the parsley in a large measuring cup with a spout; slowly and carefully pour the mixture into the crust, distributing it evenly.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling has set and has nice color and the crust is baked through. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool.

Olive-Oil Dough
Makes enough dough for a 10- or 11-inch single-crust pie or tart
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse several times to mix well.
Add the oil, egg, egg yolk and water. Pulse 4 or 5 times, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. (Overmixing may cause the oil to separate from the dough, making the dough hard to handle later on.)
Use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to several days.
Picture
2008 Jean-Claude Debeaune Les Galopières Pouilly-Fuisse
Pouilly-Fuissé is one of the 5 communal appellation of the Mâconnais and it is considered the best. Its wines are made of 100% Chardonnay and they are normally aged in stainless steel tanks. However some producer choose to age a small quantity of the wine in oak barrel.
I choose this wine because the acidity will pair with the goat cheese and the smooth texture with the eggs. 

Tasting notes:
Light golden color. The nose is amazingly aromatic and one can detect ripe apple and white peaches just while pouring it into the glass. A swirl reveals notes of wet stones and white flowers. On the palate it is creamy and medium bodied. There is a lot of lemon, and its high acidity probably highlights this element. Apple and roasted almond provide a good support. With the increase of the temperature the nose becomes more aromatic, and I can't quit sticking my nose into the glass. The finish is lingering and carries a nice lemon aftertaste, but it is ruined by an unpleasant heat (retail $19.99 - AVIN0552706927766)

 
 
Picture
I'll admit, I have never been one to brag about having a green thumb. In fact, I was beginning to think that I was cursed to having a black thumb, considering all these years of failed attempts at trying to grow vegetables on my balcony. It seemed every year for the past four years had some kind of unusual weather pattern for our area. We had bouts of uncharacteristically hot months which killed all my veggies the first and second year I tried to garden(I think they boiled to death in their little pots). The following years they drowned to death from the record breaking high rainfalls, and finally, this year is different. We actually have tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow crookneck squash, and maybe we'll even get a bell pepper. The lettuce did pretty well and I knew that it would not last long in our planting zone, and as soon as they grew enough, we harvested and made a salad. So, it's with great relief that I can say that "I grew that" proudly this year, it and seems to have ended the "curse"(I hope). And believe me, it's true that food taste even better when you grow it yourself.

Strawberry Mesclun salad with Avocado and Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado- peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. Place the sugar, oil, salt, and vinegar in a jar with a lid. Seal jar, and shake vigorously to mix.
  2. In a large bowl, mix salad greens, strawberries, avocado, and onion. To serve, toss with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts.
Serves 4-6
Picture
2008 Beso de Vino Macabeo
Macabeo is a Spanish white grape that is mostly blended with Xarel-lo and Parrellada for producing the sparkling Cava. In Rioja it is known as Viura and it is the main grape of their nicely aromatic whites, but in the regions western of Barcelona it is labeled as Macabeo (or Macabeu in Catalan) and it produces wines that are low in acidity and made for early consumption.
Tasting notes:
White flowers, citrus, mineral notes and faint white peaches open the nose of this fresh wine. On the palate it is silky with flavors of almond, lemon and a subtle fruitiness. It is low in acidity and it has some white pepper on the finish (retail $10.99 - AVIN5843151840492).

 
 
Picture
It's hard to believe that this delicious vegetable is actually the tops of a kind of beet. The name "swiss chard" comes from the extensive cultivation of this vegetable in Switzerland, but it is also widely valued in the mediterranean regions of Europe as well. I love swiss chard so much, that personally, I can eat it as a main meal, without any additional sides. (Well, maybe a glass of wine)

SAUTEED SWISS CHARD
1 large batch of Swiss chard, Chopped
Olive oil as needed
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 oz. sherry
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

     Heat a large skillet, add the oil, add onion until translucent, and then the chard leaves, salt and pepper.  When the chard has reduced and starts to soften add the garlic and sauté one more minute.  Add the sherry and the vinegar and cook on high until at least half the fluid has evaporated.  Add additional salt and pepper if necessary and serve.  If you would like to include the stems with the leaves, chop them and sauté them first.  Being harder they will need a head start.  Other optional ingredients include chopped shallots, diced bell pepper, or a sprinkle of nutmeg.  Sauté the shallots and bell pepper with the chard leaves before adding the garlic.
 
 
Picture
 I bet anyone who likes the beach and seafood is really upset about the oil spill incident that recently occured in the Gulf. I, for one am VERY heartbroken and concerned about the future impact to the flora and fauna of the underwater world. So, it is with a sad heart and a mourning spirit, that Nic and I decided to treat ourselves to a gulf delicasy of Mahi-Mahi, along with an Israeli couscous salad with mixed vegetables.
In case you are not acquainted with delicious mahi-mahi, first let me say that although it is sometimes called "dolphin-fish", it is NOT related to the DOLPHIN as we know it!

Picture
This is an illustration of the Mahi fish. These fish are surface dwelling, ray-finned fish found in off shore temperate, tropical, and sub tropical waters around the world. they average somewhere between 15- 29 pounds,and have a mild taste similar to whitefish, tilapia, or flounder.

Pesto Sauce:
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
juice of one lemon
dash of salt
half cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup of chopped basil leaves
3-4 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. Set aside

Oven Seared Mahi-Mahi with Pesto 
Serves 2
2 mahi-mahi filets
3 tablespoons pesto
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Extra olive oil for greasing pan
1. Grease a glass baking dish with a very small amount of olive oil.
2. Season both sides of the mahi-mahi with salt and pepper and then coat the top of each mahi-mahi filet with 1Tbsp olive oil
3. Place the filets in the baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Top with pesto and serve immediately.

Mixed Vegetable Israeli Couscous
2 cups chicken broth or water

1 cup Israeli couscous
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsely
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring broth or water to boil. Add couscous, olive oil and salt. Simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes or until tender to the bite. Drain and cool couscous.
Combine couscous with broccoli, tomatoes, red onion, parsley and hot pepper flakes.
Whisk together remaining ingredients and combine with couscous mixture.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 4 to 6 large side servings.
Picture
2008 Terre di Giumara Inzolia
Inzolia is one of the oldest native white grapes of Sicily. It is planted also in Sardinia, Latium and Tuscany, where it is known as Ansonica. Its vine is very resistant to the dry weather and has sparse foliage, requiring less water. This is one of the three main grape varieties used in Marsala production, but it is often bottled as a dry white table wine.
This wine is fermented at controlled temperature for 20 days, then aged 4 months in stainless steel tanks and 2 months in the bottle.
Tasting notes:
It has a light golden color. The nose opens with tangerine, ripe pear and minerals, but it translates to citrus fruit and chamomile flowers on the palate. Light bodied and tart with a persistent and intense finish. (retail $11.99 - AVIN6719568292348).


 
 
Picture
Originally, this dish known as BUCATINI ALL'AMATRICIANA, because it was named for the tiny town of Amatrice located about 100 miles east of Lazio from Abruzzo, near Rome. But we are calling this dish ALL'AMERICANA because we slightly changed the traditional ingredients, and added some local flair.

Serves 4
1/4 pound american bacon(we used the organic kind)
half pound ground buffalo
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion, halved and sliced ½-inch thick
1 ½ teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups basic tomato ragu(we used a jar brand)
1 pound bucatini dried pasta
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
Pecorino Romano, for grating


1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
2. Place the bacon slices in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan in a single layer and cook over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered from the meat, turning occasionally. Remove the meat to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat, leaving enough to coat the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Brown the buffalo in the same pan until done. Return the bacon to the pan with the vegetables, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions, garlic and bacon are light golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, add the sauce, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Cook the bucatini in the boiling water according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the simmering sauce. Add the parsley leaves, increase the heat to high and toss to coat. Divide the pasta among four warmed pasta bowls. Top with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve immediately.


Picture
2007 Kirkland Signature Grandmère Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel
Since the bucatini have been made "all' Americana", I picked the American wine for excellence to pair with the dish: red Zinfandel. I would not do it for the Italian style pasta, but the addition of bison meat asks for a bigger wine.
Kirkland is Costco's private label, and I have purchased this wine because I'm tasting it along with other variety for a post on b8wine.  
Tasting notes:
Dark ruby color. Deep nose of blackberry, black cherry, spices and mocha. Full bodied with round tannins and silky texture. Meaty and jammy. It has layers of ripe dark fruit and mocha with some pepper on the top. Well balanced acidity and a lingering finish with aftertaste of coffee beans. This wine is big and ripe (the fruit tastes almost sweet) and has 15.5% ALC without being hot. The price in Georgia is
$12.99, and overall it's a good value.