Traditional Italian Food And Wine Pairings – Apulia Dishes And White Wine

The Apulia region is the heel of the Italian boot. It is situated in the southeast corner of Italy on both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. With its maritime location, the region boasts many, many fish and seafood dishes. However, that’s not all that it can offer us when it comes to fine eating. Given that this region was once quite poor, the cooks of Apulias really know how to make the best of the available culinary resources.

Ostriche alla Tarantina (Oysters Taranto Style) are breaded and baked with parsley and olive oil. Many say that the best pairing for this delicious dish is Franciacorta DOCG, a bubbly wine from Lombardy made like and priced like French Champagne. If like so many people you are watching your budget, you might go for an Italian Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

Another popular local seafood dish is Seppie Ripiene (Stuffed Cuttlefish), which consists of small cuttlefish that are first stuffed with chopped mussels and squid, breadcrumbs, capers, and grated Pecorino cheese and then baked. Recommended wine pairings include Franciacorta and Sauvignon Blanc.

If you’re in the mood for some unusual pasta, get some orecchiette, literally little ears; a hard wheat pasta, native to Apulia. Then make Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa (Orecchiette with Turnip Greens). Add garlic and chili to the greens or a substitute like Broccoli Rabe. An alternative recipe calls for the greens, onions, prosciutto ham, and lots and lots of grated Pecorino cheese. In either case the secret for great pasta is cooking it in the same water that was used to cook the greens. Make sure never to eat the stalks or the leaves. The standard wine pairings include Italian Chardonnay, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc.

Frittata di Arugula e Due Formaggi (Arugula and Two Cheese Omelet) is made from eggs, arugula, Ricotta cheese, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. This quick but yummy meal goes well with an Italian Riesling or Pinot Grigio.

Peperoni Arrotolati (Stuffed Rolled Peppers) are made from skinless red or yellow peppers. Hint, roast or grill them for about 10 minutes before you remove the skin. The stuffing is a mixture of breadcrumbs, olive oil, pine nuts, anchovies, raisins, and other goodies. Personally, I would hold the raisins; other people may hold the anchovies or both. Suggested wine pairings include Vermentino di Sardegna DOC or Vermentino di Gallura DOCG from Sardinia or an Italian Pinot Grigio.

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