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Posts Tagged ‘Vermentino’

Chicken in Vermentino

A fresh, vibrant Vermentino brings the elements of this River Café one-pot dish together; juicy roast chicken, buttery waxy potatoes and earthy porcini mushrooms.

Wine Suggestion: there’s only one choice here, and we would recommend the Poggio ai Ginepri Bolgheri Vermentino from the Tuscan coast. This is from the superb Argentiera estate with a clever 80% Vermentino and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. We say clever as the vines are quite young and the Vermentino brings at this early stage very typical texture, salty-savouriness and appley lemon fruit with the Sauvignon giving fresh acidity and backbone. Argentiera say they expect the percentage of Vermentino to rise as the vines age, but at the moment it is deliciously light and vibrant.

Roast chicken with Vermentino – serves 4

  • 2kg organic chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 1kg waxy potatoes
  • 75g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
  • 250ml Vermentino

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Wipe the chicken pieces clean with paper towels and trim off any excess fat.

Soak the porcini mushrooms in 400ml of hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and keep the soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit and chop.

Heat a medium frying pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, then add the garlic and lightly brown. Add the porcini and cook for 2 minutes. Add a little of the mushroom soaking liquid and simmer gently, adding more liquid to keep the mushrooms quite wet. Season.

Peel the potatoes and quarter them lengthwise.

Put the chicken pieces into a roasting tin in a single layer. Add the potatoes, rosemary, wine, and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Stir in the porcini and season. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook for another 30 minutes. The chicken and potatoes should be light brown. Serve with the pan juices.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes from the London River Cafe by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

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Sicilian fusilli with tomato, garlic & almond

We love the combination of anchovies and almonds in this pasta sauce – a Sicilian-style pesto. It also reinforces our desire to go to Sicily.

Wine Suggestion: A fresh and dry Italian white is a must for this dish with numerous choices working well. If you can find one match it with a white from the slopes of Mt Etna which will be minerally and savoury, or if not a dry Vermentino from the Tuscan coast. We drink a glass of the Morisfarms Vermentino which was both minerally and nutty with fresh citrus flavours. Morisfarms add 10% Viognier to this wine which gives it an added exotic lift and roundness to the wine. With the complex savoury notes of the dish the savoury and nutty wine worked a treat.

Sicilian pasta with tomatoes, garlic & almonds – serves 6

  • 500g fusilli lunghi (long spiral pasta) or other pasta – we used regular fusilli
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 25g golden sultanas
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 x 15ml tbsp capers, drained
  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • leaves from a small bunch of basil (about 20g) to serve

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the pack instructions.

Make the sauce as the pasta cooks by putting all the ingredients, except the basil, into a processor and blitzing until you have a textured sauce.

Drain the pasta, reserving a mugful of the cooking water and add 2 tbsp of the water to the processor as you pulse the sauce.

Tip the drained pasta into a warmed serving bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss to coat – add a bit more pasta cooking water if needed and scatter with basil leaves.

(Original recipe from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, Chattos & Windus, 2012.)

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