Regional Wine & Pasta Pairings

What better blog for pasta week than a regional wine and pasta pairing menu? While there are some pasta shapes that you find throughout Italy, each region has its own specialties. And of course, if you pair a regional pasta with the delicious sauce of local ingredients meant to accompany it, and with a bottle of regional wine imbued with the same terroir , you have the makings of perfection.

Lazio Wine & Pasta Pairings
Dining out in a piazza in Rome

We’ll start with one of our favorites, bucatini. This long, spaghetti-like pasta is distinguished by the small hole (“buco”) that runs the length of it. It’s traditionally served all’amatriciana or alla gricia. The first is a wonderful sauce made with tomato and guanciale, topped with pecorino. The second is a “white” amatriciana, or without the tomatoes. (Another classic shape to try with these preparations is rigatoni.)

Try serving it with a bold Cesanese del Piglio wine, which can stand up to the guanciale and pecorino, as well as the tomatoes, if you use them.

Want to try it in person? Check out two of our cooking vacations in Lazio, Roman Countryside Discover or La Cucina Romana in the Sabine Hills.

Italian Wine
Sardegna Wine & Pasta Pairings

Saredgna (Sardinia) has a variety of regional dishes that can be difficult to find off the island, but one of our favorites is malloreddus, or “gnocchetti sardi” (small Sardinian gnocchi). Unlike regular gnocchi, gnocchetti sardi resemble a small, shell-shaped pasta with lines (i.e. not smooth). They are traditionally served with a sauce flavored with some of the fine regional sausages made in the inland’s interior, and topped with pecorino sardo cheese.

A rich pasta dish like this one deserves an equally powerful wine, try one of the many fine Cannonau wines from the Jerzu province.

Sicily Wine & Pasta Pairings

The Sicilian pasta shape casarecce has migrated to other regions as well, but its origins are distinctly Sicilian. The shape resembles a scroll, with the longer edges rolled up and slightly twisted. A classic preparation is with a Trapani-style “pesto” that is made of fresh tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, and cheese (either fresh ricotta or a seasoned cheese like pecorino or parmigiano).

Eating with friends in Italy
An excellent and light summer dish, try pairing it with one of the island’s fine blended whites made from the local Catarratto, Grecanico, or Inzolia grapes, such as Corvo Bianco Terre Siciliane.

Try a wonderful Sicilian pasta recipe for Bucatini con sarde.

If you haven’t been to Sicily, you don’t know what you’re missing! Try casarecce al pesto trapanese with some fine Sicilian wines during our best-selling cooking vacation in Sicily, Authentic Sicilian Experience for the Food Lover.

Puglia Wine & Pasta Pairings

Puglia (Apulia) abounds in distinctive and wonderful pasta shapes, but none is perhaps more known than the whimsical orecchiette or “ear-shaped” pasta. The classic way to serve it? With cime di rapa (rapini, also called broccoli rabe) sauteed with a bit of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovy.

Making orecchiette pasta in Puglia
Puglia is known for its red wines, but for this dish try the century-old rosé “Five Roses” Rosato Salento.

To try the pasta and the wine in Puglia, check out our best-selling cooking vacation in Puglia, A Culilnary Advanture in Puglia.

Of course, we think the the best way to try any of these pasta and wine pairings is on a cooking vacation to Italy, but you can enjoy them at home as well!

Learn about the food and wine of the little-known Molise region.

Can you think of other regional wine and pasta pairings? Don’t forget to tell us your favorites in the comments or on social media.

By Peg Kern

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