Monday, January 31, 2011

Pancetta #3 - Amatriciana & pinot noir

Thinking about a good pasta dish to match with pinot noir? Recent experiments with the home-made pancetta included a good match between some young pinot noir (2008 Wickham's Road) and spaghetti all'Amatriciana.

While cured and dried pig cheek (guanciale) is my ideal meat for combining with tomato and chilli for making the Amatriciana sauce, home cured pancetta is a good variation. The sauce can be stripped back to olive oil, cooked-out pancetta, tomato and chilli. Or done slowly starting off with onion and pancetta in a little oil, braising over low heat for 20 minutes or so, before adding garlic, chilli, a little white wine, tomato and a touch of sugar. Cook out slowly until the sauce 'cracks' and oil starts to separate. Check for seasoning and serve tossed through pasta. Bucatini is traditional, but I also like this sauce with penne or spaghetti.

As much as barbera-based wines can be good fits for sauces using tomato, I find young, bright and brisk pinot noir can also have a fruit and acid profile that matches well with pasta and Amatriciana sauce.

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