Coquilles Saint-Jacques + Paternoster Vulcanico Falanghina 2021 #ItalianFWT
This is a pairing that I did when I was planning for the March #ItalianFWT event on Molise, Basilicata, and Campania. I matched Gratinéed Scallops with a single varietal from Basilicata.
But, in the end, I opted to share a different food and a wine from Campania. Even though this isn't my official offering for the event, please hop over to these articles after Saturday, March 4th to read about these pairings...
Aglianico and Shwarma? Let's give it a try... by A Day in the Life on the Farm
A Glimpse into Molise with the Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva by Vino Travels
A Taste of Three Feudi di San Gregorio Campania White Wines by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Basilicata Meets Turkey with Sucuk Paired Aglianico by The Quirky Cork
Campania, Calzone, and Aglianico by Crushed Grape Chronicles
From Campania: Pasta Named for a Patron Saint + Wine from an Ancient Tale by Culinary Cam
Giovanni Piccirillo Brings a Fresh Approach to Winemaking in Alto Casertano by Grapevine Adventures
Introducing Campania's Key Grapes: Aglianico and Falanghina by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
Tintilia, A gem grown in Molise by Avvinare
In the Glass
I got my hands on a bottle of the 2021 Paternoster Vulcanico Falanghina from Basilicata which is the arch of Italy's boot. Mostly well-known for its red wine in the form of Aglianico, I was thrilled to try a white wine from the region.
The name 'Vulcanico' refers to the fact that the grapes are cultivated at the base of an extinct volcano: Mount Vulture. Falanghina grows throughout the region and used in many regional blends. It is thought to be an ancient transplant from Greece; its name is derived from the Greek word, phalanga, meaning stake or pole, which refers to the Greek method of training vines to single stakes.
All of the Paternoster vineyards, covering nearly 50 acres, are on a natural terrace that overlooks Mt. Vulture. These Falanghina grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks for 10 days and age on the lees for a little less than half a year.
The wine poured a golden straw color with flecks of grassy green. On the nose, there were strong aromas of summer stone fruit and white flowers. On the palate the wine was fresh and balanced with a clean finish.
On the Plate
The freshness of the wine had me thinking about seafood, so I picked up some fresh scallops from the fish market and decided to make a version of Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Gratinéed Scallops. I served it with slices of bread and called it dinner.
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup shallots, diced
3/4 cup lobster mushrooms (I used dried mushrooms and rehydrated them, reserve some of the soaking liquid)
3/4 cup shiitake mushrooms
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 pound sea scallops
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup reserved soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
zest from 1 organic lemon
1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon + 1 pinch paprika
Also needed: baking dish or casserole, bread for serving
Melt butter in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, salt, and black pepper and increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are beautifully softened and silky, approximately 10 minutes.
Pour wine into the pan and bring to a simmer. Place scallops into wine and poach in the mushroom mixture until barely firm, approximately 2 minutes per side. Move scallops to the baking dish, leaving the mushrooms and liquid in the pan.
Pour cream into the mushroom mixture and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Whisk the egg yolk, then add in a ladleful of the sauce to temper the eggs so it won't scramble. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the sauce and whisk to combine. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon paprika.
Spoon cream sauce over scallops to coat. Sprinkle with Gruyère cheese and paprika. Preheat the oven's broiler. Broil in the preheated oven until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, approximately 5 to 6 minutes.
Serve with slices of bread.
That's one of my pairings based on the Molise, Basilicata, and Campania prompt for March's #ItalianFWT event. Stay tuned for my other recipes and tasting notes.