Saturday, June 22, 2013

Perfect Pairing?

I love the occasions when everything seems to come together, especially since those occasions are all too rare.  We had one of those moments last night when a very impromptu meal came very close to being perfect. 

It began with a trip to the market where there were just out of the ground spring onions - pungent, sweet and moist.  They same store had just cranked out some fresh fettuccine so some of that came home with me.  A month or so ago I bought some fresh peas and after several meals froze what I couldn't eat and I took them out of the freezer.

While the pasta boiled I diced a spring onion and a small bit of guanciale and sauteed them in a small amount of butter until some of the fat rendered from the pork and the onions were soft and sweet.  In went the peas and two tablespoons of heavy cream and things simmered until the peas were warmed through. 

Next in was the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water and a bit of fresh thyme and tarragon.  A grating of pecorino Romano cheese and some black pepper finished things off.  It seemed a bit flat so I added some grated lemon zest and that helped, but it still wasn't what I was looking for.  The final piece of the puzzle was about three mint leaves finely chopped and added to the mix along with a bit more pasta water to thin things out. The result tasted fresh and new without any thought of being heavy. 

The wine was a 2011 Kinkead Ridge Riesling and it was a remarkable compliment to the pasta.  The aroma was light and breezy, fresh and alive.   The flavors of apple and green grapes matched well with the pasta and the cream, but sense of minerality in the wine really shined through with the herbs and lemon zest.  The small bit of mint heightened everything.  Meals like this certainly make one forget some of the experiments that didn't come together. 

2011 Kinkead Ridge Ohio River Valley Riesling.  12.1% alcohol and $13.

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