Wine pairings for Strozzapreti con Squacquerone, Salciccia e Noci
This pasta has a lot of pairing possibilities between the richness of the sausage and the creamy, mildness of the cheese. It can even handle a wine with a bit of new oak flavor, which tends to smell like baking spices, given the recipe calls for sweet rather than spicy sausage. Once you include the dense texture of the nuts in with the hearty cheese and sausage elements, you’ll definitely need a wine with good acidity to cleanse the palate. You’ll also need a wine with medium to full body to mimic the pasta’s generosity.
Many Italian whites have a nuttiness to them. However, many are also quite lean in structure. So, opt for wines from central and southern Italy, which tend to be more robust. Try a dry Orvieto from Umbria. Orvieto is a blended white based on Trebbiano Toscano or Procanico (a different clone of Trebbiano), which tends to be a somewhat neutral grape that lets the other varieties in the blend stand out. Grechetto and Malvasia provide citrus and floral aromatics. Overall, Orvieto has a nice mouth-coating quality that mimics the pasta, but its other component, Verdello, provides the lifted acidity to keep the palate refreshed.
Keeping in line with the central Italian theme, there’s nothing like a Chianti Classico with this dish. Sangiovese provides good acidic backbone along with red cherry fruit flavors that blend seamlessly with the dish’s red meat. Those with a few extra years of bottle age also tend to develop a light earthiness that compliments the noci nicely, too. Like Orvieto, Chianti is typically a blended wine (today, Classico wines can be 100% Sangiovese), and the contributions of the different grape varieties add complexity, just like all the ingredients in this Sunday Pasta. Stick to the normale versions for this pasta as the Riservas tend to show more generous use of new oak.
p.s. Check out our recipe for Strozzapreti con Squacquerone, Salciccia e Noci.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)