Friday, April 5, 2019

'Nduja Pizza + LangeTwins Winery & Vineyards 2018 Aglianico Rosé #LodiWine #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with a virtual wine tasting event hosted by 
Snooth for Lodi Wines. Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

So, when R came back from his Spring break trip to Italy and Greece, he commented that everyone was impressed with how fresh and tasty the food was. He said, "Ehh...this is what my mom cooks everyday. Squid ink pasta, risotto, homemade pizza." Okay, my family is a little spoiled. Maybe more than a little. 

And, when I asked him what meal he wanted as his welcome-home dinner, he said, "Asian or Mexican." He had had enough Mediterranean food to last him...well, a week. Because exactly a week after he returned, he asked if I could make pizza. Done.

He wanted Margherita pizza. I added some 'ndjua to pair with a wine from Lodi that was part of a virtual tasting earlier this week. You can read about that in my Malfatti di Ricotta con Basilico e Gamberi Agli Agrumi post. But, basically, I received six different bottles of wine from Lodi to explore and pair.
In My Glass

I was excited to try the LangeTwins' Aglianico Rosé because I've had the varietal before, but only as as a red wine, not a Rosé. Aglianico is an Italian varietal known to be acidic, tannic, and beautifully full-bodied. As a rosé, these all offer an alluring complexity to the wine.

Aromas of strawberry and rhubarb carry through to the palate and the pleasing balance of fruit, acid, and body make this wine delightful. And with its acidic depth, it paired beautifully with my 'Nduja pizza. Even more lovely is that the wine is certified sustainable.

This wine prompted a deeper discussion about comprehensive sustainability standards with a holistic approach to farming and concern about the ecosystem as a whole. Very interesting! Some descriptors used from the panel: lean, crisp, and an observation that the rhubarb adds interest. I wholeheartedly agree.

On My Plate

I already explained why we were having pizza. But, instead of plain Margherita pizza for all, I wanted to add a little smoky intrigue with 'nduja.

If you're unfamiliar, 'nduja is a spicy, smoky, funky spreadable prosciutto. I like to pinch off pieces and add them to pizza like a sausage topping.

My favorite pizza crust is Mark Bittman's "No Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough." This is the easiest pizza dough I have ever made! But it does require lots of lead time. The recipe suggests letting the dough ferment for six to twelve hours and that the longer you let it ferment, the more complex the flavor.

Ingredients makes two 12" thin crust pizzas

Basic Dough makes 2 pizzas, depending on size
  • 2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 C white flour
  • 1/2 t active dry yeast
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1-1/2 C warm water

Sauce (you have enough for four pizzas)
  • 1 large can San Marzano tomatoes, whole (I used an 800g can)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t crushed oregano leaves
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

  • fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
  • 'nduja

  • fresh organic basil leaves


Basic Dough
Mix all of the dough ingredients together in a large bowl. The texture will be a wet, sticky dough. Cover and let ferment for as long as you can - between six and twelve hours. At the end of that, use the dough as you would use any pizza dough.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Divide the dough into two or three pieces, depending on how large or small you want the pizzas. Roll the dough into an oval shape on your silicone mat or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Or, if you have someone more adventurous, you can toss them. Here's how that conversation went last night...

J: Are you going to throw the dough in the air?
C: What?
J: Are you going to throw the dough?
C: How many years have I been making pizza for us? Have I ever thrown the pizza dough?
J: Let me try!
C: Okay.

Place all of the ingredients - except for the olive oil - in a large skillet. And bring to a boil. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to smash the tomatoes into a sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the sauce it thickened. Stir in olive oil and remove from heat.

Once the dough is rolled, or tossed, to your desired thickness, spoon some of the sauce onto the crust and spread to within 1/2" of the edge. Place slices of mozzarella and dollops of 'nduja over the top. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the pizzas from the oven and gently press three or four whole basil leaves into the cheese. Serve immediately.

Find the Sponsors...
Lodi Wines on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram
Snooth on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram

*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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