Monday, February 3, 2020

Handrolled Pasta alla Gricia + Val d’Oca Prosecco Millesimato #ItalianFWT #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the February #ItalianFWT event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

I was thrilled to be able to receive wine samples from Val d’Oca* for February's Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers event. Unfortunately, I didn't receive this wine in time to pour it and pair it for the #ItalianFWT event, on Saturday, February 1st, when we focused on quality wines from Italian cooperative cellars. So, I promised my contact that I would post after the fact and share on all my social media channels. Here we go...

Val d’Oca, under the cooperative Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene, is one of the oldest producers of Prosecco. They make their Prosecco from Glera grapes that are cultivated in the hills of Valdobbiadene. I have always loved saying that word. It's so lyrical and rhythmic.


This bottle - Val d’Oca Prosecco Millesimato - is a vintage-dated sparkling wine made exclusively of Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene DOCG grapes. On the nose we got aromas of white flowers - think honeysuckle - along with crisp pears and apples. I thought the bright acidity would match well with one of my favorite Roman pastas, the simple pasta alla gricia.


And I had some leftover pasta dough from our robotics fundraiser (read about that in my post Hardworking Kids, Fresh Pasta, and a Red Wine from Vallevò) and opted to hand-roll the dough for some organic looking strands.


I did pour the wine from start to finish, matching it with a cheese board, then the pasta, and all the way to my Torta della Nonna. Recipe to come on that one!

But let's start with the pasta. 'Alla Gricia' pasta is one of my favorite Italian pastas. Along with Amatriciana, Cacio e Peppe, and Carbonara, these dishes require only a handful of inexpensive staples and don't require much of a time commitment to prepare either. The only tough part for alla gricia is sourcing guanciale which is cured pork jowl. But it's definitely tracking it down. If you can't locate it, you can use pancetta or even bacon in a pinch.

Ingredients serves 4 to 6

Pasta

  • 100 g semolina
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil, as needed


Sauce

  • 2 C guanciale, cubed (it's easiest to slice it when it's frozen)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1/2 to 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 C grated pecorino romano + more for serving
  • 1 t chopped fresh organic basil (this is not traditional, but I like to add it)

Procedure

Pasta
You can do this all by hand, but it's easiest to place all of the ingredient in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it comes together in a ball. Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Mine actually rested in the fridge for two days,then I let it come to room temperature before rolling.


Break off pieces of the dough and roll into cylinders. Then break off smaller pieces and roll them into strands, about 1/8" thick and 3" long with tapered ends.

Sauce
Add the guanciale with a splash of olive oil. Cook over low to medium heat until most of the fat is rendered and the cubes are nicely browned and beginning to crisp. Remove the pieces from the pan, but leave the rendered fat in it.

Sprinkle the pepper into the fat. Swirl the pan and let the pepper get strong and aromatic.

Bring water to a boil and drop the fresh pasta into the water. Let cook for 2 minutes and pull the pasta out, reserving 2 C of the cooking water. Pour the water into the pan with the fat and pepper. Bring it to a boil and let it reduce to a thick, emulsified sauce.

Add the guanciale back into the pan. And add 1 C cheese. Whisk to combine, then stir in the parboiled pasta. Toss to coat and let the pasta cook for another minute in the sauce. Stir in the remaining cheese and basil. Serve hot.


Let diners sprinkle even more cheese over their own servings.

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*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

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