Montepulciano Rosato wine and fresh pasta with yellow tomatoes and smoked cacioricotta cheese

This week Graziana and Giorgio, the owners of WalkingWine, an Apulian street – wine shop, presented us a pairing between a Contessa Staffa – Montepulciano Rosato IGT Daunia wine by Antica Enotria wine-cellar, and a dish created by Francesco Nacci.

Since 2012 Francesco Nacci is chef and owner, together with his wife Evelyn Fanelli (expert sommelier), of Botrus – divino Ristorante  restaurant.

The restaurant is located in Ceglie Messapica – Puglia – South Italy, a  small and elegant town in the heart of the Itria valley (for more info take a look here).

Chef Francesco’s connection with the kitchen is engraved in his DNA: at the end of the nineteenth century his great-grandmother, known as “Anna la cantiniera“, was one of the first to get a license to open a restaurant in Ceglie; his grandmother Lucia and mother Immacolata, who even today makes all dishes with fresh handmade pasta, were restaurateurs too.

Francesco‘s passion for the cuisine blossoms in adulthood when, far from his mother’s kitchen, he rediscovered and learnt the importance of raw ingredients, needed to create great dishes. In his cuisine, instinctive and traditional, he embodies the authenticity of the Apulian flavors without exempting himself from learning and experimenting with different cooking techniques.

The dish prepared by chef Francesco is made with 3 Apulian niche products: sponzale onions, yellow tomatoes and cacioricotta cheese (see the recipe below). The sweetness of this dish is enhanced by the characteristics of the Montepulciano Rosatowine, as recommended by Walkingwine.

THE DISH
Fresh wholemeal pasta with yellow tomatoes and smoked cacioricotta cheese

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INGREDIENTS for 4 servings:

350 gr fresh wholemeal homemade pasta made with flour and water (like strascinate or orecchiette or similar)
∼ 30 Torre Guaceto yellow tomatoes
150-200 gr smoked cacioricotta cheese
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt
lemon bio zest, to taste
3 sponzale, (also called porraia) onionsonly the white part, finely chopped

The sponzale belong to the onion family, they are like an onion bulb with a green edible stem and they are appreciated for the sweet taste. This vegetable is a niche product of Apulia and Basilicata Italian regions.

The small yellow tomatoes are characterised by bright yellow fruits with a very sweet and aromatic taste. They are a niche product cultivated in a small land by the Adriatic sea of Marine Protected Area, Torre Guaceto located in Carovigno municipality, Alto Salento – Brindisi.

Cacioricotta cheese is a white and hard paste cheese made with goat and/or sheep’s milk. It can be grated or cut in flakes and the taste is intense. It is a traditional product from the Southern Italian regions Puglia and Basilicata.

In a wok pan heat the oil, then add the sponzale onions and let them sauté for few minutes. Add the tomatoes, cut half of them into two parts and leave the others whole, salt in the pan and let sauté for few minute stirring with a spoon wooden. Then lower the heat, cover the pan with a lid and let cook for 20- 30 minutes, adding a bit of water or broth little by little, if too thick. When the sauce is ready, finish with fresh grated lemon zest.

Meanwhile, fill a big pot with water and bring to a boil, cook into it the strascinate, or orecchiette,  until al dente (follow the instruction here).
Drain the pasta and combine it with the yellow tomatoes sauce, mixing very well. Sprinkle with freshly grated smoked cacioricotta cheese.

THE WINE
Contessa Staffa – Montepulciano Rosato IGT Daunia

Wine cellar: Antica Enotria, the first Apulian cellar that obtained the certification of organic production.
Grape variety: several varieties of Montepulciano.
Wine: trained using  the “Pugliese trellis” method, 100,000 kg per hectare.
Sensory characteristics: a lovely pink colour with slight nuances of onion skin, the wine with flavors reminiscent of wild strawberries and other small red berries. On the palate, the wine is remarkable for its aromatic persistence and strikes a perfect balance between velvety soft and crisp.

Sicilian savoury brioche or ravazzata

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This traditional Sicilian recipe is contained in a cookbook that Nonna Teresa, the granny of our friend Matteo Fantacchiotti  wrote to leave her recipes in inheritance to her family.

Tanks to Matteo to kindly share with us this dish of his childhood.

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Cauliflower couscous

Today is Shrove Tuesday and almost all the cities in Italy are invaded with colourful and cheerful masks, getting ready to celebrate the last day of Carnival.

From tomorrow, we suppose you want to get your diet started,  for religious reasons or to get out of a binge period. To compensate for the excesses of the Carnival celebrations, try this healthy recipe, without giving up the Carnival colours.

 

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Carnival Castagnole

When I was a child, Carnival was the funniest period of the year. I remember that the excitement for Carnival started already in January when my Mom and my Great-aunt, who was dressmaker, started thinking about which carnival costume to sew for my sister and me. Every year I wore a different costume, and together with my friends I used to go banking on the doors in my town asking for treats. I really enjoyed walking around my town throwing confetti at the people with masks on and smelling the fragrance of Carnival fritters that filled the streets.

Living abroad I can’t celebrate Carnival as much as I did when I was young, but at least I can prepare the traditional treats for my family.

So let’s go for these Carnival Castagnole!

(Francesca)

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Fresh artichoke carpaccio

Artichoke carpaccio is a simple and tasty way to enjoy the crunchy texture of the fresh and small artichokes.

To make this dish we used the hearts of artichokes, that we bought at Mercatino delle verdure (Ca’- Cucina, Rebekkavej 49 – Hellerup).

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Almond horn cookies

January is notoriously the month during which kids get sick. As the flu did not spare our children, either, what’s the best way to brighten up their down days?

Bake, bake and bake!  That’s the answer. Even better if you bake something sweet like these almond horn cookies.

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Bergamot risotto

This risotto is made with two products from Calabria, a region in Southern Italy: the bergamot whose taste is less sour but more bitter than lemon, and the red onion of Tropea, of extraordinary sweetness and with a delicate scent.

The Bergamot comes from a short stretch of land in the Reggio Calabria Province, along the Ionian Sea coast. The red onion instead is cultivated in the area around Tropea, a small city by the Tyrrhenian Sea, known for its clifftop historic center, and for stunning beaches.

Are you asking where to find this week the bergamot in Copenhagen area?? Of course at Mercatino delle verdure (Ca’- Cucina, Rebekkavej 49 – Hellerup), our special supplier for high quality and diverse varieties of fruit and vegetables. :-))

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Meat Roll- ups, brasciole from Apulia

When I was a child, in my house in Apulia, Sunday wasn’t a respectable Sunday without a succulent dish of pasta al ragù di brasciole. Despite the name the pasta sauce does not contain the brasciole (the meat roll-ups); these are served separately after the pasta (as a secondo piatto in Italian), always accompanied by some good wine, like the well known Salice Salentino or Negroamaro (which at the time I was of course not allowed to drink :))

Thanks to Fabio, a long time friend, for giving us advices about this brasciole dish. 

(Marinella)

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Sicilian orange cake – Pan d’arancio

A few days ago we announced that we would prepare a cake with Sicilian oranges. As we like to keep our promises :-), today we will present you this fragrant cake, the Pan d’arancio.

To prepare this traditional Sicilian cake we used Sanguinello blood oranges (a type of blood oranges), which come from Eastern Sicily. This variety has a pulp lightly streaked with red due to the presence of anthocyanins. The flavour is more intense and sweeter than other varieties of oranges.

We recently found Blood oranges at Mercatino delle verdure (Ca’- Cucina, Rebekkavej 49 – Hellerup), which has become our trusted supplier when it comes to high quality and special variety of fruit and vegetables.

If you live in the Copenhagen area then it’s easy for you to go and buy at Mercatino delle verdure. Otherwise, you can use other types of oranges to prepare this cake. The most important thing is to make sure to buy oranges whose provenance is certified and known, as you’ll use the entire orange.

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Spinach Lasagna roll-ups

Spinach is an essential component of this dish, so fresh and fleshy spinach gives a better result than frozen.
There are sure a lot of groceries where you’ll find spinach, but, if you are in Copenhagen area, we advice you to buy spinach at Mercatino delle verdure (Ca’- Cucina, Rebekkavej 49 – Hellerup). There you will find many other Italian fresh vegetables that Diego and Davide select carefully every week.

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