All posts tagged Italy

Santa Margherita…it’s Spaghetti Margherita!!

Spaghetti… the world’s favorite pasta! The love of pasta, especially spaghetti, needs no intro… however, an introduction to my Margherita-style spaghetti does! So, as part of my special contribution for the upcoming event, Authentic Italian Table: A Celebration of Pasta, Italy’s gift to the world, I’m sharing my recipe below for Margherita-inspired spaghetti. If you’ve ever had Margherita pizza, and like it, then you’ll LOVE this pasta dish, too.

This recipe makes approximately 6 servings (depending on how hungry everyone is).

Get ready! In addition to about a pound of spaghetti (16oz package) you will need:

  • 1 cup fresh sweet basil, chopped; and few extra sprigs for garnish
  • 6 0unces fresh Mozzarella cubed into 1/4 inch squares
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • Bay leaf…2 or 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped extra fine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in halves (I use approximately 1.5lbs… I like lots of tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp. pepperoncino (crushed red pepper)
  • Touch of salt, as needed
  1. Prepare spaghetti adding a few dried bay leaves in water while cooking. Bay leaf adds a slight sweet herbal taste to your pasta. I’m pretty sure you will like it! Plus, bay leaves simmering in boiling water generate a lovely scent.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan begin sautéing garlic under low to medium heat until fragrant (approximately 2 minutes), then add tomatoes with a touch of salt and pepperoncino. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Try not to overcook the tomatoes. At this point, add pasta. (Note: I prep spaghetti “al dente”, since the pasta is going to cook an additional 3 minutes under low heat.)
  3. Right before you’re ready to serve, pour spaghetti into large serving bowl folding in diced fresh mozzarella, grated parmesan cheese, and chopped basil. Finally, garnish pasta with a few whole basil sprigs then dust top of the dish with finely chopped Italian parsley.

An optional thought: since it has always been in my nature to jazz things up a little bit, I do add extra pepperoncino. By now, everyone knows I love my cuisine on the spicier side!

Important to note, for Italians…WINE is very much considered a “food” category too! That being said, I just had to complete my food-and-wine experience with an Italian Pinot Grigio, and of course it comes from Santa Margherita.

There you have it — Spaghetti Margherita paired with Pinot Grigio from Santa Margherita. Salute y Buon Appetito!

 

Santa Maria…No, It’s Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio & Spaghetti Margherita!

 

P.S. This post is entered in the Pasta Blogger Competition Houston 2018. Try to follow all the fabulous food posts via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: #TrueItalianTaste

Please join us for:

Authentic Italian Table: A Celebration of Pasta, Italy’s gift to the world!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

 2 – 5 p.m.

Bayou City Event Center

9401 Knight Road

Houston, Texas 77045

$35 per person

Click here for event registration information:

Discovering Cantele Negroamaro Rosato

Negroamaro is a red wine grape widely grown in Puglia, Italy, used to make big beautiful red wines like the most recognized DOC Salice Salentino. It is also used to make one of the best Rose wines I have ever tasted: Cantele Negromaro Rosato.

I first sampled a variety of Cantele wines last October during a dinner hosted by wine writer Do Bianchi at Houston’s Italian restaurant Mascalzone. Enjoying the Cantele wine dinner, pairing presentation and experience, especially the nuance of Negroamaro … I selected their Rosato as an ideal choice for my own Italian celebration — a friend’s 50th birthday party. I needed a special Italian wine for my party … delicate, aromatic, and unique to match my friend’s lovely character and chic Italian style! And it was the perfect party pairing, along with antipasto, assorted cheeses, and music by her favorite Italian singer, Laura Pausini, as our soundtrack for the evening. It was such a great night, filled with lots of food, family, close friends, and my friend telling me she felt so loved.

A big thank you to Vinology Houston for special ordering and finding Cantele Negromaro Rosato for me; apparently, the importer only sends a small allocation to Texas.

Thanks also to Do Bianchi for the invitation to the Cantele wine dinner, and the introduction to their awesome wines! P.S. I promised to save Do Bianchi a bottle of Rosato, and I did 🙂

The Birthday Girl!!!

Cantina Puianello Lambrusco Barghi

Very important: Lambrusco is served in a tumbler!!

There are three important things I learned about Lambrusco.

First, Lambruso is like a soft drink or wine cooler—meant to be paired with joyful, happy and family-style dining occasions. After tasting a few sips of Lambrusco, with its slight sugar buzz, semi-sweet flavors of berries and pomegranate, and an overall appealing tartness, I would definitely agree with a sense of happiness.

Second, Lambrusco pairs perfectly with comfort foods, and is married to classic Italian cuisine from Emilia-Romagna region which Italy is also very famous for.

Third, Lambrusco is served in a tumbler.

All things to keep in mind when pairing Lambrusco with an occasion, and the key, honestly, is to have fun!

Last week, I attended a Lambrusco tasting seminar hosted by Jeremy Parzen (@Dobianchi) who is an expert and educator in all things Italy—food, wine, and culture. Jeremy’s overview on dispelling the myths of Lambrusco opened my perspective to the fun state-of-mind this sparkling delight has to offer, and the zest for life Italians have enjoyed for centuries. Coincidently, National Lasagna Day was Saturday evening, and I invited a few neighbors and friends for lasagna dinner paired with one of Jeremy’s tasting selections at seminar from Cantina Puianello Lambrusco Barghi. I have to say, we all enjoyed this delightful Lambrusco, and YES … everyone had fun!! You, too, can enjoy and have fun with Lambrusco, and find selections from Parma to Reggio Emilia, Italy, at Vinology. I purchased this bottle for $14.50.

Jeremy Parzen, wine expert educator! And… famous wine blogger!!

Gwendolyn Knapp (Houston Press Food Editor) tasting Lambrusco!

My friend, Shelly, learning about Lambrusco!