Classic Italian Food And Wine Pairings – White Wine And Abruzzi Dishes

The Abruzzi region is located n the central eastern Italy on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. This lovely area is made up of approxiamately two thirds mountains and the remaining third is mostly hills. The Adriatic Sea and the numerous inland lakes and streams provide a wide variety of fish and shellfish, some of which are featured below.

Acciughe all’Abruzzese (Anchovies Abruzzi Style) includes both fresh and salted anchovies, eggs, parsley, lemon, breadcrumbs, and some other ingredients. The hardest part of preparing it is cleaning the fresh anchovies. Once they are good and clean add the stuffing which includes more anchovies! If you like anchovies, you should enjoy this unusual dish with a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC from the neighboring region of The Marches, or a Greco di Tufo DOCG wine from the Campania region further south.

For starters many people prefer Zuppa di Lenticchie (Lentil Soup). This dish is fairly easy to make once you have soaked the lentils. Optional ingredients include chestnuts, salt pork, tomatoes, and chili peppers. It is suggested that you pair this lentil soup with an Italian Pinot Grigio. If you just can’t find one from Abruzzi, you are allowed to settle for another.

The Adriatic coast really teems with fish and seafood. You should try Calamari Ripieni (Stuffed Squid) whose stuffing consists of garlic, breadcrumbs, olive oil, parsley, and several other delicious ingredients. Many chefs add dry white wine and plenty of gambieri (scampi) to the stuffing. Can you blame them? Among the suggested wine pairings are Gavi DOCG, also called Cortese di Gavi, from The Piedmont and Orvieto DOC from Umbria or Latium.

Another fine fish dish is Coda di Rospo alla Cacciatora (Monkfish Hunter’s Style), which is made with garlic, rosemary, anchovies, and those ubiquitous chili peppers. The recommended wine pairings include Chardonnay and Riesling. Need we mention that they should be from Italy.

Just reading about all these unusual Abruzzi dishes may give you the urge for some spaghetti. This region is a great place for traditional pasta dishes such as Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Spaghetti with Oil and Garlic). The special ingredient is, believe it or not, chili peppers and lots of them. You may enjoy this simple but satisfying dish with an Italian Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. And hold the meatballs. I would also go fairly easy on the chili peppers.

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