I got stuck in Italy. Well, virtually stuck in Italy. And I am not complaining. Italy is one of my favorite European countries. You see, I started a virtual wine tour, so I could enjoy both wine and food from different wine regions all over the world. I merrily ate and drank my way through England, France and Spain.
For some reason, I landed in Italy, had a few eats and drinks and went on permanent Siesta. I am embarrassed, especially since I was so excited for this part of my journey.
Well, I am starting my virtual Italy tour over and this time, and I am starting in the Piedmont region. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Piedmont region is a culinary capital in Italy, as well as the home to Nebbiolo, Barolo & Barbaresco wines. Sometimes called the “Burgundy of Italy“, the Piedmont region is known for good red wines and exquisite food, including the white truffle (mangia mangia!).
Barolo is a well known and prestigious red. Unfortunately, it was also a bit out of my price range. So, I found a nice Nebbiolo from the Langhe region, made by the Ca d’Maria winery.
My Nebbiolo was a very lovely red, with a brown-ish tint. I guess you could call it more garnet than red. It had a peppery nose, with hints of cherry and latex (Brettanomyces, I believe). When I opened the bottle, the first thing I did was smell the cork (it’s an odd habit, I know) and was instantly reminded of tart red cherries and springtime.
The wine itself was very mild. It had hints of black pepper, tart cherries and leather. There was no burn to my mouth (as I have found with other red wines) and it went down smooth and easy.
I paired my wine with agnolotti dal plin, a stuffed pasta from Piedmont. Similar to ravioli, looking a bit more like a pot sticker, with “plin” meaning pinch. I pulled out my trusty Lidia’s Italian American Kitchen cookbook and read up on how to make pasta dough. I decided to go away from the traditional meat fillings and do a roasted vegetable filling instead. I wanted to keep the meal light, but still tasty.
The pasta making turned out to be a family affair. My daughter helped me cut vegetables and make dough. My husband helped me with the rolling and cutting, and once I had placed a little of the vegetable.
I opted for a brown butter and sage sauce, which made the meal light and delicious. The roasted vegetable filling also paired nicely with my wine.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the pasta making was fairly simple. As a first time pasta maker, it did take me a bit longer, but the end result was delicious.
I am proud to say, I have started my virtual food and wine tour with style. I am now off to the next wine region – Lombardy. Ciao for now.