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Go-to-Wine Tuesday: Sartarelli 2013 Verdicchio Tralivio

Posted on | October 13, 2015 | Written by Stephane Menard | No Comments

WH1822-2Summer is over, but we have had such beautiful sunny days in New York City that I wanted to open a nice bottle of white wine and cook a dish that reminds me of great summer dinners. One of my favorite dishes is the pasta all’astice (lobster pasta). This simple dish with few ingredients is the natural expression of the great product that nature has to offer.

Verdicchio is probably one of the best pairings for shellfish dishes because it is fresh, crisp and has a nice sharp acidity. The aromas of citrus perfectly complement clams, crabs, and lobsters! The Verdicchio grape has been cultivated in the Marche region since the fourteenth century. One of IWM’s best-loved Verdicchio producers is Sartatelli. Founded in 1972, this beautiful estate is situated 1000 feet above the level of the sea in the middle of Castelli di Jesi, the finest region for growing Verdicchio.

IMG_2405 The bottle I picked for my summer feast was Sartarelli 2013 Verdicchio Tralivio, and it was everything I could hope for: concentrated yet vibrant, floral and citrusy, and finishing with that telltale bitter almond that makes Verdicchio so perfect with shellfish. The result of meticulous grape selection and traditional vinification techniques, this wine is a textbook expression of Verdicchio, and at just over $20 a bottle, it’s easy and affordable to enjoy!

Spaghetti all’astice

Ingredients for two people:

1 live lobster (2 ½ lbs is a good size)

2 split garlic cloves

8 small cherry tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

One glass of Sartarelli Verdicchio Tralivio

Past : spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or vermicelli

IMG_2399First of all, you can ask to get a live lobster split for you at the fish market; otherwise, I highly recommend you to put your live lobster in a cold fridge with a humid towel on the top for a couple hours. The cold temperature puts the lobster to sleep and will not feel anything when you cut him alive (I promise).

Crack the live lobster into two pieces, starting with the head down to the tail. After putting aside the lobster body and its jus, you can rinse out the grey/beige part from the head. You should also crack the two claws to help them cook easier.

Do not be scared if the lobster still moves even after being split into two pieces; just as happens in frogs, the nerves are active, but the crustacean is dead.

Take a very large skillet with a lid, and start making a soffritto, braised garlic and olive oil, at medium heat with extra virgin olive oil and the split garlic cloves.

IMG_2401Then add the two parts of the lobster shell in the skillet; pour a glass of white wine, the lobster jus and your small cherry tomatoes. Increase the heat to evaporate the alcohol for a couple minutes, then reduce the heat, cover with the lid and let cook for 18-20 minutes.

IMG_2403IMG_2402As the lobster is cooked, take the two pieces and of lobster and the claws out of the skiller. Remove the inner meat part out of all the shells, cut in small pieces and put back in the skillet to mix with the juice. Keep warm and cover.

Once the lobster is almost done and changed to a bright red/orange, toss the pasta in the five quarts of salted boiling water.

Cook pasta to taste, strain the pasta, put it in the skillet and mix with the lobster pieces. Serve on warm plates and add some fresh-cut Italian parsley at the end.

IMG_2405This meal, paired with Sartarelli Verdicchio, will fool you into thinking it’s summer, even in the middle of January. It’s a pretty easy trip to August, whenever you might need it.

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