Sangiovese, arguably Italy’s most important grape, comes from a lot of regions you know, and LOTS more you don’t, and this wine falls directly into the latter category. The appellation in question is called Colli Pesaresi (KOH-lee Peza REH zee) which refers to growing zones in the hills near the Adriatic seaside city of Pesaro (PEZ a ro) in the Marche.
Pesaro is a charming, regal town that is most famous for being the birthplace of the composer Gioacchino Rossini. And among things like comic operas, and a certain puckish irreverance, Rossini was known for being a gourmand, or maybe just a mangione… The bottom line is is that Joe knew how to put it away, and the more and the richer the dishes, the better, which made him a good marchigiano, since the cucina marchigiana is often deemed to be Italy’s most luscious cooking tradition, and marchigiani its least easily sated citizens.
And maybe it’s just a coincidence, but this Sangiovese from Marche is a fat shredder straordinario. I served it with my “3 and 3” pasta sauce with egg fettuccine, (recipe below) a great grilled pork chop recipe from Fabio Trabocchi’s book The Cucina of Le Marche, and my favorite way to do broccoli rabe (recipe in an earlier post) on the side. Recipe, wine notes, pics:
“3 and 3” pasta sauce
1 very small butternut squash, peeled (carefully!), seeded, and cubed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 lb. of thinly sliced pancetta, rolled and shredded
1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
1 small yellow pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
1 small Italian frying pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
1 small zucchini, coarsely grated on a box grater
1 small yellow squash
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large sprigs of mint, finely chopped (or to taste, and depending on kind/strength of mint)
1 lb. egg fettuccine
– In a saucepan, place the butternut squash with about a cup of water and a few pinches of salt. Cover and place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes or until the pieces are very soft. Mash them completely with a potato masher and set aside.
– In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until pieces are lightly crisped.
– Stir in the peppers, a pinch of salt, and cover and cook, stirring a few times, for about about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are completely wilted.
– Stir in the zucchini and yellow squash, a pinch of salt, and cook as above.
– Add the wine, letting it bubble for a few minutes. Add half of the chopped mint, and let cook uncovered for another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Add the mashed butternut squash, and enough water to make a not too thick, creamy sauce. Cover and let cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Correct sesaonings
– Just before tossing some of the sauce( Don’t oversauce! – think dressing” or “condiment”) with the pasta (cooked al dente, of course) stir the remaining mint into the sauce. Serve with plenty of grated Pecorino Romano.
* This recipe may make more than a pound of pasta can carry, freeze the rest…
Claudio Morelli Sangiovese Colli Pesaresi 2008
Slightly brick purple/garnet color.Charmingly rustic nose of sour cherries, mushrooms, wildflowers, and a touch of fresh cilantro(!). The medium body pops with zippy acidity, and flavors of wild berries, pomegranate juice, and briny minerals. Very quaffable. Finishes with scrapy, leafy tannins.