Pre-cooking ingredient round-up
When summer just isn’t summer, pretend it’s something else. Hell, what else can you do when it’s been raining like the Asian sub-continent for the past few months!
So, last night I did just that and pulled out an old sample of one of my favorite varietals from the wine nook. Barbera is that everyday red wine from the Northwest of Italy with bright red cherry fruit flavors; an all-around pleasant drink. The region of Piedmont is where most Barberas come from, but attractive examples can be found stateside as well.
The Terra d’Oro and Montevina Wineries in California’s Amador County produce my favorite illustrations of domestic Barbera. And although the competing Piedmont cities of Asti and Alba will argue as to who makes better Barbera, I find them both to be solid, enjoyable wines.
Since this rain had recalibrated my food mood into something more fall-like, my preference last night was to create a heartier dinner. Join what you can’t beat, right?
That meant pairing the Barbera with a tomato based red sauce and stirring in some black olives, Italian style sausage, capers and a northern Italian cheese like Piave (Oro del Tempo). Choosing thicker long pasta like bucatini, which is also tubular, made for an appropriate and warm, belly-filling bowl of noodle indulgence.
The very long and tubular Bucatini – totally!