Tag Archives: Sauvignon Blanc

Pasta Alla Norcina

Pasta Alla Norcina

Pasta Alla Norcina-001

The are a number of Italian dishes that most Americans are familiar with…spaghetti carbonara, lasagna and fettuccine alfredo, to name a few. And then there are other more obscure authentic Italian pasta dishes that are so delicious that you wonder why they aren’t more popular here in the States. Pasta alla Norcina is definitely one of these recipes! Norcia (the namesake for this dish) is a town in Southeastern Italy known for, among other things, it’s sausage and ham. Sausage from Norcia is not the Italian sausage that you would find in your grocery store so this recipe solves that problem by creating a quick sausage out of fresh pork and the warm, earthy seasonings of garlic, nutmeg, rosemary and pepper. The sausage is then combined with chopped mushrooms, cream, wine, cheese, parsley and lemon juice to create a sauce that is…transformative. We used shell shaped pasta as the vehicle for the sauce and think this recipe is one of our best posts of recent history. We can’t wait to make it again!

Pasta Alla Norcina-019 Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Palissade Sauvignon Blanc, 2014
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.0

This recipe called for a dry white wine and this Sauvignon Blanc did the trick! It’s pleasantly dry but also has a tart and citrusy brightness that cut through the richness of the sauce and complemented the pop of lemon in the sauce. It is also very good just on it’s own!

Pasta Alla Norcina-020 Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Essential Pale Ale Port City Brewing Company
Rating: 8.75 out of 10.0

This was an excellent pale ale from a local brewery located in Alexandria, Virginia. I’ve had just about every beer that Port City brews but this is the first that we have paired on the blog. What I love about this pale ale is that it isn’t a wannabe IPA. Most pale ales these days are just a slightly less hoppy IPA… the essential pale ale is a very well balanced beer which is slightly hop forward but still well balanced by sweet malts. The body of the beer is nice and light with decent carbonation. It was perfect washing down the earthy, peppery, rich flavors of the dish with just enough flavor to stand up against the dish.

Pasta Alla Norcina-014

Pasta Alla Norcina:

From this recipe.

Ingredients

Kosher salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons water
8 ounces ground pork
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 ¼ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed
7 teaspoons vegetable oil
¾ cup heavy cream
1 pound orecchiette
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (3/4 cup)
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

1. Grease large dinner plate with vegetable oil spray. Dissolve 1⅛ teaspoons salt and baking soda in water in medium bowl. Add pork and fold gently to combine; let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Add 1 teaspoon garlic, 3/4 teaspoon rosemary, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to pork and stir and smear with rubber spatula until well combined and tacky, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer pork mixture to greased plate and form into rough 6-inch patty. Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add patty and cook without moving it until bottom is well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip patty and continue to cook until second side is well browned, 2 to 3 minutes longer (very center of patty will be raw). Remove pan from heat and transfer patty to cutting board. Using tongs to steady patty, roughly chop into ⅛- to 1/4-inch pieces. Transfer meat to bowl and add cream; set aside.
4. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Stir in orecchiette and 2 tablespoons salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 11/2 cups cooking water, then drain orecchiette and return it to pot.
5. While orecchiette cooks, return now-empty skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, mushrooms, and ⅛ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons oil, remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until completely evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in meat-cream mixture and 3/4 cup reserved cooking water and simmer until meat is no longer pink, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in Pecorino until smooth.
6. Add sauce, parsley, and lemon juice to orecchiette and toss well to coat, adjusting consistency with remaining cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Shrimp Lo Mein

Shrimp Lo Mein

This is one of those take out staples that is actually, quicker, healthier, and much tastier to make at home…especially if your local Chinese take out place looks like it should be closed by the health inspectors. It also helps that more obscure ingredients (like lo mein noodles) are becoming more and more readily availableContinue Reading

Salmon Burger

Salmon Burger

I’m going to make a very controversial statement…this salmon burger is better than some of the best beef burgers I’ve ever tasted. In fact, I would choose this burger over a beef burger any day. It’s seriously that juicy and flavorful. It’s kind of no wonder that it has so much flavor because it’s seasonedContinue Reading

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

It’s always surprising to me how easy, inexpensive, and delicious it is to make mussels at home. They seem like one of those things that you should just go out and order in a restaurant but in reality we’ve found that we can prepare better mussels at home and they take about 30 minutes toContinue Reading

Classic Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie

So, I have a confession…I actually don’t love apple pie and it’s the last dessert I would order in a restaurant or buy at the store. Does that make me un-American? I guess I feel like there’s usually something wrong with most apple pies. Either they’re too sweet for my taste or the apples areContinue Reading