Saturday, April 11, 2015

Leap into Spring with Pasta Primavera & Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Time flies when you're drinking wine! I started my Italian wine blog 2 years ago this month in order to push myself to study Italian wine deeper. Since then I have become enrolled in an Italian Wine Specialist certification program (exam a week away), written well over a hundred blogs, started writing for some magazines, attended a number of wine events I've been invited to including my recent trip earlier this year to Italy for the Anteprima Amarone. I have met bloggers all around the world including face-to-face gatherings in Italy and have learned so much about social media and blogging it's mind blowing. One of the great surprises during this time was meeting a local food blogger to me, David of Cooking Chat, who invited me over one night to join in on a wine/food event online about wines from the Languedoc. 

Since then I've joined his Wine Pairing Weekend event of a fantastic group of food and wine bloggers. I love cooking when I have the time and I'm not one that always knows exactly what to pair when it comes to food and wine, but that is one of the greatest parts of this group. We learn from one another and it has forced me to think outside the box every month, experiment with a variety of different recipes and share with you what I would like to prepare, pair and share with you. That's a lot of rhyming for one sentence.

This month we are featuring spring pairings as we get ready for the nice weather to come. Although depending on where you are maybe it never really left you, but in the Boston area we literally just got some more snow this week and we're coming into 60 degree weather this weekend. Crazy New England weather.

My food pairing selection this month was easy when I actually had the time to sit and think about it. When I thought of spring immediately I thought of getting my garden ready for the summer and thought of all the wonderful fresh vegetables I grow. Although, after last year and my battle with my non-friend the gopher, I need to devise my plan to keep those critters from eating all my feed. So today I'm sharing with you a Pasta Primavera that's so easy to put together. Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you like, but I chose green and red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and summer squash. A simple recipe I put together with plenty of flavor.Vegetable preparation for pasta primavera
Sauteing vegetables for pasta primavera
Pasta Primavera Recipe
1) Boil and prepare water for your choice of pasta selection and add pasta once boiling
2) Saute minced garlic, olive or coconut oil and kosher salt
3) Cut vegetables of your selection.  I chose mushrooms, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 summer squash and 1 zucchini.
4) Add chopped vegetables to saute pan and cook low to medium heat until softened.
5) Add chicken broth to vegetables and simmer on low heat
6) Season vegetables with salt, pepper, parsley and oregano.  I also added a dab of mint.
7) Once pasta is cooked to desired time and drained, add to saute pan and mix with vegetables
8) Top with grated cheese of your choice.  I chose asaigo. 
Pasta Primavera with farfalle

2011 Montenidoli Tradizionale Vernaccia di San Gimignano
For my wine pairing I chose a Vernaccia di San Gimignano
from Montenidoli. I've previously written about Montenidoli when I had an opportunity to meet the owner, Elisabetta Fagiuoli, at a local wine shop here one night. I purchased her 2011 Montenidoli Tradizionale Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG. You can read all about her winery and the wine itself on my blog “MeetingElisabetta Fagiuoli from Montenidoli in San Gimignano.” What I loved about this pairing is the fresh, crispness of the vernaccia paired with the light, simple sauce of the pasta primavera and vegetables. It was a light hearted meal where the simplicity of the food and wine balanced well. 

Here come more spring wine and food pairings coming your way........

Spring Pea Risotto with Picpoul de Pinet by Curious Cuisiniere 
Spring-Kissed Seafood Chowder with Pelerin 2011 Les Tournesols by Cooking Adventures with Camilla
Wine and Dine: Las Lilas Vinho Verde 2013 and Chilled Cucumber with Mint Soup by Grape Experiences.
Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Spring Peas and Westrey Pinot Noir by Pull That Cork
Red Wine with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Cooking Chat
Spring Hopes: Asparagus and Rosé by Food Wine Click
Spring Fling with Greek Pizza and Wine by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Spring Flavors with Hungarian Pinot Grigio by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Welcoming Spring with #WinePW by Rockin Red Blog
Winter's Hill Pinot Blanc and Warm Arugula, Bacon and Asparagus Salad by Tasting Pour
Roasted Halibut with Potatoes and Lemon and a Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas by Enofylz Wine Blog
Beets and Wine Pairing by Girls Gotta Drink