My take-away from last week’s CNN episode in Rome was the 4 kinds of pasta that shared the same ingredients – pasta, guanciale (pork fat) and pecorino (cheese). Pasta alla Gricia, pasta cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), pasta Carbonara and pasta Amatriciana – so simple that Sunday pasta in my house may never be the same!
In the next episode Stanley Tucci takes us to Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna region. Emilia-Romagna is the 3rd highest wine producing region in Italy and shares borders with Toscana, Piemonte, Lombardia and Veneto. However, their wines can’t compare to the world-famous wines of Toscana (Chianti, super Tuscan), Piemonte (Barolo, Barbaresco) and Veneto (Amarone).
There are Barbera, Bonarda and Sangiovese wines but the sparkling red wine, Lambrusco, is Emilia-Romagna’s best known wine.
It’s not wine that makes this region world famous – Emilia-Romagna is known as “Italy’s food capital”. Their list of spettacolare (spectacular) food includes:
- Aceto Balsamico (balsamic vinegar) from Modena
- Parmigiano Reggiano (hard cheese) from Parma
- Mortadella (meat) from Bologna
- Proscuitto di Parma
Before enjoying a meal of wonderful food, Italians often enjoy an apertivo (aperitif). One of the most famous and my “go-to” aperitivo is the Negroni. It’s the perfect cocktail – easy to mix with equal parts of Campari, gin and sweet vermouth. I’ve experimented mixing variable parts but I prefer the original recipe of equal parts, and I use Del Professore vermouth (see BTWG Manhattan recipe).
Gin – 1 oz London Dry gin (Bombay, Beefeater, Tanqueray)
Sweet Vermouth – 1 oz (Antica Carpano or Del Professore Rosso)
Campari – 1 oz (Campari)
Garnish with orange rind
Stir (not shake), serve over ice in old-fashion glass
And when you watch CNN’s Bologna episode, add splash of Balsamic (see cocktail on left above) – molto interessante!
Cheers, Bob the WineGuy