Monday, March 9, 2009

Road Trip - An Italian Sunday

Went to visit an elderly relative yesterday evening. She is a true pasta fan and eats very little meat so that's what we did for dinner.

All the meat involved consisted of this 1/4 inch slice of pancetta, diced and slowly fried in some olive oil until the bits were crunchy. I definitely have this thing for pancetta.

Next up was some spinach and chive pasta tossed with a good dose of fresh pesto sauce, then sprinkled with the pancetta bits and topped with a simple slice of tomato to add color to the dish. Earthy, light and perfect with a small salad and a rosemary dinner roll. Save for the slice of tomato and the brown pancetta bits the meal was very green, and in this case I'm talking color instead of environmentally friendly.

The wine was a 2005 Mauro Molino Dolcetto D' Alba. Dark color, lush fruit on the nose, good acid and light tannin all combined in perfect proportion in this wine. The taste was pure, sharp dark fruit with just enough tannin and acid to clear the palate. Dolcetto means "little sweet one" in Italian and this certainly fits that description. The wine was in a "close-out" bin at the market about six weeks ago and discounted so that the newest vintage, 2007, could go on the shelf. The price was an wonderful $11.

This was certainly the best $11 wine I've had for some time. Dolcettos and Barberas from northern Italy remain some of the best bargains on good wine in the market. Easy on the pocket book and easy to drink and they all seem to go great with food. This one was no exception.

There was a small amount of leftover pasta and Scott enjoyed it mixed in with his dog food this morning.

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