Wine pairings for Busiate Integrali con Rapini e Salsiccia
Broccoli rabe has a distinct bitterness that can be tricky to pair with wine. Luckily, most Italian wines – both red AND white – tend to have a pleasant tinge of bitterness that easily accommodates this characteristic. Since this dish pays tribute to a Sicilian pasta, there’s a perfectly good reason to look to that island to find wines to match.
Carricante is a minerally wine that often has anise notes in it. That aroma will match very well with the fennel in the sausage. Additionally, this variety’s strong minerality will work nicely with the savoriness of the pancetta, sausage and pecorino. The Benanti Pietramarina is a Carricante from Etna and is unoaked – key to making a good match. Alternatively, an aromatic variety made in a dry style can work, especially when the wine is vinified with its skins to give it a touch of pithy bitterness. The lightly orange Occhipinti SP68 Bianco is made from Albanello and Moscato di Alessandria. Serve it cool but not cold so as to not over-emphasize its tannic side.
Given the red pepper in this pasta, staying with wines with red rather than black fruit tones is best. Blends of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and other local varieties can work well when they are aged in older or neutral vessels so that the varieties’ licorice notes shine through and combine seamlessly with the fennel. The sun-baked earth notes in these wines also enhance the pasta’s meat and cheese elements.
Check out our recipe for Busiate Integrali con Rapini e Salsiccia.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)