Wine pairings for Spaghetti al Pane Grattugiato
Simple – even humble – in ingredients but full-fledged in flavor, this is a pasta that needs clean and focused mineral flavors to highlight the anchovies. That means sticking with cooler climate wines (from more or less the northern half of Italy) that see no new oak. Generally, whites will work best with the anchovies as reds can taste a bit metallic with fish, but some very light reds can harmonize with this dish, too.
I love the seeming saltiness of Verdicchio from the Marche. Perfect for anchovies! There are two denominations of Marche Verdicchio: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. The former tends to be more minerally and slightly less fruit-driven due to its closer proximity to the sea. While both can work, the Castelli di Jesi version blends best with the anchovies.
Perched high in the Alps, Valle d’Aosta makes very light, often rosato-like reds. Just about any of the local red varieites make delicate wines well-suited to this pasta. Cornalin and Petit Rouge are indigenous varieties with smooth tannins and bright acidity to look for. Cornalin has spice notes, and Petit Rouge (the most widely grown red in the region) is often compared to Gamay. Whether bottled as varietal or blended wines (the recommended Chambave includes 30% Gamay, Pinot Noir and other local reds along with 70% Petit Rouge), these unoaked, light reds are subtle palate cleansers for this Sunday Pasta.
Check out our recipe for Spaghetti al Pane Grattugiato.
Master of Wine (MW)