Texture is an important consideration in this subtle Sunday Pasta packed with crunchy ceci, or chick peas. It wouldn’t be hard to smother this nuanced pasta with a hulky style of wine or to tone-down its detailed flavors with a simple, crisp one. The bullseye is a medium-bodied wine with no clear oak influence and supple fruit hailing from a cooler climate.
A medium-bodied wine, which will match this pasta’s weight, usually falls in the 12.5-13.5% alcohol range. New to near-new oak in a wine gives flavors of sweet spice, vanilla and chocolate, none of which are food ingredients any of us would add to this recipe! The suggestion to choose a wine from a cooler climate stems from the fennel fronds in the recipe. Those delicate green flavors are akin to the high-toned herbal notes often found in cooler climate wines. A region with these wine styles that fit these characteristics is Emilia-Romagna.
In the white wine department, Tre Monti’s Albana Secco Romagna fits all of these parameters. It’s dry, mid-weight and sees no oak. Its flavors of green apple and honeydew melon seamlessly complement this ditalini-based dish. If you are looking for flavors you’re more familiar with, try Tre Monti’s Salcerella. It’s a pure Sauvignon Blanc aged in acacia wood, which tends to bring out herbal and floral notes in aromatic whites rather than dominate them with toasty oak characters.
If a red wine is what appeals to you more, Tre Monti’s Campo di Mezzo is a great option. Seeing no oak and made entirely of Sangiovese di Romagna – known for its herbal top notes, this dark-fruited red has the gusto to match the heartiness of the pasta and ceci combo while whisking away its weight with lightly grippy tannins. If you want to notch up the wine’s complexity, upgrade to Tre Monti’s Petrignone. Also 100% Sangiovese, this wine does see some portion of new oak, but it adds flavor dimension rather than overwhelming the wine’s predominant black cherry character.
Whether you go for a native or an indigenous grape variety, Emilia-Romagna is an excellent region to begin your wine search for this highly nuanced Sunday Pasta.
Master of Wine (MW)
Check out our recipe for Ditalini con Ceci e Ciuff die Finocchi.