A #ItalianFWT Preview + Spaghetti alla Nerano with a Native Grape from Valle d’Aosta
This month I am hosting the Italian Food Wine Travel group to explore the wines of Piedmont and Aosta along with pairings. You can read my invitation.
We will also be gathering for a live chat on X (formerly known as Twitter) at 8am on Saturday, November 4th. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to anything you post so we can see it. Here's what the group has planned...
Grosjean Fumin Valle d’Aosta DOC with Carbonade Valdostana & Polenta Concia by Crushed Grape Chronicles
Nebbiolo delle Langhe DOC from Vietti 2020, A Symphony of Flavor by Avvinare
Simple, but Seriously Delicious: Lasagne alla Valdostana + Grosjean Vallee d'Aoste Gamay 2022 by Culinary Cam (you're here)
Sweet Surprises Pairing Brachetto and BBQ by The Quirky Cork
Two Cru Wines that Celebrates the Accomplished Viticultural Heritage of Piemonte by Grapevine Adventures
Valle d’Aosta Co-op La Kiuva Rouge de Vallèe paired with Mushroom Soup by Vino Travels
Why has Barbera wine from Piedmont changed so drastically in recent years? by Life at Table
Wine Braised Pork Loin and a 2019 Travaglini Gattinara by A Day in the Life on the Farm
And since I always try to experiment with multiple pairings ahead of an event, here's one of the wines and food matches that I did for this month...
Cave Mont Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle
When I knew I was hosting this month, I dove into finding several wines from the region to try. I will be sharing a Gamay from the region this weekend. But, for this post, I am sharing a white wine made from one of the native grape from the region.
La Cave Mont Blanc was founded in 1983 and lies at the foot of Mont Blanc where the grapes are cultivated at an elevation nearing 3600 feet. These vineyards are among the highest in all of Europe.
The Vallée d’Aoste D.O.C. Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle is produced exclusively from the Blanc de Morgex grape, the only variety of white grapes that is native to Valle d’Aosta.
The wine poured a sunny straw color. On the nose, there are bright notes of citrus blossoms and crushed wet granite. On the palate, those aromas are mirrored along with layers of orchard fruits, and stone fruits. This wine has a lengthy finish and freshness that feels like summer but is complex enough for an autumn pairing.
Spaghetti alla Nerano
I have been making this since I read about it in Stanley Tucci's memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food. Then the dish is featured in his travel documentary series called Searching for Italy. Spaghetti alla Nerano is a recipe he learned at Lo Scoglio from Antonia though she held back an ingredient. Tucci shares, "I have just recently returned from Lo Scoglio, where I watched Antonia’s brother Tomasso make this dish. On the table were all the ingredients... plus… one other. A small dollop of butter! I KNEW IT! PS: Antonia and I still remain friendly, but I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her. I’m kidding. I would do anything for her and her family. Always and ever."
8 cups thinly sliced zucchini (I used a mandolin slicer)
1 cup oil
1 cup freshly chopped basil
3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
Also needed: pasta cooked al dente with 2 cups of cooking water reserved
Pour oil in a large pot and heat until shimmering. Add in the zucchini and fry until softened. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup chopped basil and stir to wilt. Add in the cooked pasta. Then pour in the pasta cooking water, a little bit at a time, until a creamy sauce forms. Stir in 2 cups of Parmigiano. Toss with more cooking water until desired texture.
Fold in the remaining cheese and basil. And serve immediately.
There you have it. I can't wait to see the pairings that the group shares on Friday and Saturday. Stay tuned!