Italian wines of different styles pair well with greens and pork pasta


If you had a hunch that Italian wine was a safe bet with pasta, you were right. Here is a white from Sardinia, as well as reds from Campania and Tuscany. Each offers a different way of pairing — from light and fresh, to smoky and earthy, to floral and herbal — focusing on various aspects of this complex dish.

——— 

MAKE THIS 

PENNE PASTA WITH WILTED ESCAROLE 

Cook 6 ounces pancetta, cut in 1/4-inch cubes, in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fat is rendered. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, if needed. Add 2 onions, thinly sliced in half-moons; season with salt. Cook, stirring, until completely soft, 12 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic; cook, 1 minute. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Stir in leaves from 1 head leafy escarole, sliced into wide ribbons; cover. Allow to wilt briefly. Serve tossed with 1 pound cooked penne, sprinkled with grated Romano cheese. Makes: 4 servings 

Recipe by Joe Gray 

DRINK THIS 

Pairings by sommelier Alan Beasey of The Purple Pig, as told to Michael Austin: 

2016 Cantina Giogantinu Vermentino di Gallura, Sardinia, Italy: This light, fresh and complex white has aromas of white peach, grapefruit and lime zest, plus flavors of pear and peach. Its crisp minerality will enhance the escarole, and its almond finish will complement the cheese. Also, the wine’s body will stand up to the pasta and pancetta. 

2013 La Sibilla Piedirosso, Campi Flegrei, Campania, Italy: This piedirosso grows in volcanic soil near Pompeii, imparting a smoky aroma and flinty minerality. The wine is also light and fruity, with notes of dried cherries, raspberries and sweet herbs. The smoky, earthiness of the wine will accentuate the pancetta and cheese, and the savory herbs will bring out the escarole. 

2013 Corte alla Flora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy: Soft and velvety, this wine has aromas of dried violets and herbs, plus flavors of ripe cherry and blackberry. The aromas will draw in the escarole, and the medium body and tannins will blend well with the pancetta. Also, the sweet mocha finish will pair well with the salty cheese.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

Restaurant review: Gallery Grille in Tequesta
Restaurant review: Gallery Grille in Tequesta

THE PLACE: There’s a full-scale restaurant hiding in this daylight café tucked into a corner of Tequesta’s Gallery Square North plaza. The stylish Gallery Grille may be open just for breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch, but it welcomes you like a place with dinnertime aspirations. With a handsomely set dining room, and a sweet, brick-paved...
Best bites: Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Best bites: Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

At a time when so many foods are lauded as extreme and flavor-forward, it is refreshing to come upon a product that is understated and pleasant. Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette offers a mild apple flavor that tempers the tang of apple cider vinegar with the moderate sweetness of honey. It’s a natural combination, enhanced by...
My husband is a vegetarian, but my children and I are not. What will make everyone happy?
My husband is a vegetarian, but my children and I are not. What will make everyone happy?

The Washington Post Food staff recently answered questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat. Recipes whose names are capitalized can be found in our Recipe Finder at washingtonpost.com/recipes. A: Have you thought of making things that you can adapt for the different needs of your family? Maybe you're not up for doing...
Americans waste about a quarter of the food they buy
Americans waste about a quarter of the food they buy

The mass quantities of food Americans waste every year has staggering environmental consequences, according to a study published Wednesday. "Our data suggest that the average person in the United States wastes about a pound of food per day," said the University of Vermont's Meredith Niles, one of the study's authors along with researchers...
Today’s Special: Leftover cheeses can be used for quiche, soups or omelets
Today’s Special: Leftover cheeses can be used for quiche, soups or omelets

I love to cook dishes that are comforting, generous and full of flavor, like the foods my mom used to make. We loved cheese in any form in our house — from grilled cheese sandwiches to macaroni and cheese and cheesecakes. No other food is so ideally suited to cooking as cheese. Fortunately, my refrigerator is always full of cheeses like good...
More Stories