Wine pairings for Bucatini con Broccoli al Forno
This Sicilian recipe looks a little tricky given distinctive ingredients like broccoli, anchovies, pine nuts and raisins. However, the broccoli is blanched, which takes away some of its “green” punch, and there’s no obvious anchovy taste. The pine nuts’ and Parmigiano Reggiano’s earthiness helps counter the sweetness of the tomatoes and the raisins. In the end, this Sunday Pasta has a healthy contrast between savoriness and sweetness.
More neutral white wines are my top choice to pair with this bucatini. Cataratto is a neutral grape, best known for its use in Marsala production. However, it’s widely planted all over Italy to the extent that it is the second-most planted white grape. It can be quite bland, but in the hands of the right producers, the grape turns out fascinating, savory juice. Cataratto whites don’t compete with this dishes bevy of flavors.
The tomato of the dish calls for a wine with red fruit flavors to play harmony. The high tones of raisins and pine nuts also call for a brighter and suppler wine style, that is to say one with lower tannin levels and plenty of refreshment. Frappato is the perfect indigenous grape to answer this call. It’s Pinot Noir-like in its smoothness. Few varietal versions are shipped to the US, but there are a number of wines that blend Frappato with the local Nero d’Avola in a style called Cerasuolo. Those work very well, too, and will have a bit more body for cold wintery nights.
Check out our recipe for Bucatini con Broccoli al Forno.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)