Wishing You Happy Earth Day with An Organic Pinot Noir from Chile + A Quintessential Pasta from Rome
Updated: Apr 22
This month I am hosting the World Wine Travel bloggers for our April post; we are looking at organic Chilean wines for Earth Day. Importer and marketer Winesellers, Ltd. offered to send several writers a selection of wines. Thanks for sponsoring our event! But the event is open to any and all Chilean wines.
Disclosure: As always, when I receive samples for consideration, there was no monetary compensation involved and the opinions expressed are mine alone.
All of these posts will be live between Friday, April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd. Then you can join us for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, April 22nd - Earth Day! - at 8am Pacific. Just follow the hashtags #WorldWineTravel #EarthDayPairings #ChileanWines. And be sure to add those to anything you post so we can see it. Here's the line-up...
Oysters in Herb Butter with a Veramonte Chardonnay and a Book Review by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Protect Earth with Chile’s Biodynamic Matetic EQ Sauvignon Blanc Paired with Chimichurri Blackened Halibut by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
Sheep in the Vineyard, Wine from Organic Grapes in My Glass by My Full Wine Glass
Wishing You Happy Earth Day with An Organic Pinot Noir from Chile + A Quintessential Pasta from Rome by Culinary Cam (you're here)
An Organic Pinot Noir from Veramonte
You can read more about Veramonte wines in my post: Ceviche: A #WorldWineTravel Preview & A Magical Match for Chilean Sauvignon Blanc on a Solo Night. They are doing good work for the planet...a perfect spotlight as we celebrate the fifty-third anniversary of Earth Day. Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. What started as a grassroots movement spearheaded by a junior senator from Wisconsin in 1970 has engaged over 190 countries and over 1 billion activists every year.
This 2020 Veramonte Pinot Noir Reserva is a single varietal - 100% Pinot Noir - crafted with grapes grown under an Ecocert certification. This is such a beautiful wine with intriguingly savory aromas. I noted both olives and mushrooms in addition to the black and red fruits that were expected. On the palate, this medium-bodied wine is simultaneously silky and fleshy.
Pinot Noir is one of my favorites to cut through the richness of a carbonara sauce, a quintessential pasta from Rome. Pinot Noir, known for its earthy funk, complements the pork in the sauce. Pinot Noir loves both bacon and ham; both the wine and guanciale elevate this pairing to heavenly.
If ever there was a pasta that, for me, is the embodiment of Rome, it's this. Pasta Carbonara. And I really had no idea how controversial it was - the debate as to whether or not the sauce contains cream. I'll tell you: authentic carbonara does not include cream! It's just a few simple ingredients and can be on your table in the amount of time it takes your pasta to cook.
Though the ingredient list is short, it's best if you can get the actual ingredients. First is guanciale which is cured pork jowl. I have a hard time finding that. So I often substitute with pancetta; you can even use bacon in a pinch. But, if you can find guanciale, definitely get that. Second, pecorino romano is an aged sheep's milk cheese. I recently found a 'romano' that was cow's milk and was completely baffled. I mean, they didn't lie. It's the 'pecorino' part that indicates it's from a sheep. However, I've never seen just 'romano' cheese before. Parmigiano Reggiano can be used instead if you wish.
serves 6 to 8
400 grams pasta (I used a mixture of egg and squid ink pasta for a dramatic appearance)
8 ounces cubed guanciale (cured pork jowl) or pancetta if you can't find any guanciale
olive oil, if needed
5 medium eggs
4 cups grated pecorino romano
generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
optional: parmigiano reggiano for serving
Bring salted water to a boil. And place your pasta in to cook.
In another pot, place the cubed guanciale and cook it until it has rendered its fat and it nicely browned. Some bits will be crisped, depending on your dice. The bottom should be slick with the fat. If it looks a little dry, you can add a splash of olive oil.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and fold in the grated cheese. Add a generous amount of black pepper, approximately a teaspoon. Scoop in a ladle of the pasta cooking water and whisk to emulsify the sauce.
When the pasta is cooked, add a ladle of the pasta water to the guanciale and turn off the heat completely. The sauce will cook with the residual heat from the pasta and the guanciale.
Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat with the guanciale fat. Pour in the egg mixture and use tongs to continuously toss. The cheese will melt and the sauce will be turn creamy and coat the pasta. That's what you want.
Once the pasta is nicely coated, add more black pepper and serve immediately.