Friday's Dinner and Wine: Classic Carbonara
Nothing like a quick pasta recipe to solve a dinner dilemma. Tonight's suggestion: our take on the classic Carbonara, adjusted to include Bianco&Sons Italian sausage, one of the staff favorites in the Salty Market meat product selection. Of course, this recipe also gives us an opportunity to showcase some of our food-friendly Italian wines that will stand up to this delicious, high-fat and high-carb dish. These are trying times, so let's live a little in every bite!
This recipe will yield 6 portions. Ingredients: Bianco&Sons Italian sausage (make sure you order these enough in advance to give them time to thaw), Beller's applewood smoked thick-cut bacon (half a pack - 6oz), 4 cloves of garlic, one pack of Divella Linguine, a splash of wine (you can use a bit of any of the paired wines we recommend and have the rest with dinner), 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, BelGioioso parmesan (half a pack - 2.5oz), fresh parsley and fresh cracked black pepper.
You can order the wines and dinner ingredients on our website and have them delivered free of charge to your doorstep.
Although this is a quick dinner, timing will be very important in making this dish, so we recommend cutting, chopping and whisking all of your ingredients in advance, so you can keep just assemble and cook at will. Pull the sausage filling out of its casing and crumble it as much as possible. Cut your bacon into 1/4 inch squares. Chop the garlic and parsley and set aside. In a large salad bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and parmesan, with a good amount of cracked pepper and set aside as well. Also, get your water boiling; the Divella linguine take 8min to cook "al dente."
Once you have that all prepped, get going in a large, non-stick skillet by browning the bacon first, on high heat. When the bacon has golden-brown edges and starts to stick to the pan a bit, add the sausage and give it a good stir to incorporate all the bacon grease and chop it down more with your spatula. Add a dash of wine (we made ours with the fabulous, silky Zyme Valpolicella) and the garlic and turn the heat down to medium. Allow the sausage to cook all the way through.
While your meat sauce is cooking, check on your pasta. If your sausage is fully cooked before the pasta, just turn the heat off and leave the skillet on the burner to keep warm. Before draining the pasta, take out half a cup of pasta water and add it to the sausage skillet. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet as well, giving it a good stir to coat it with the liquid and distribute all the meat bits and pieces through the linguini. While still hot, add the pasta mix to the egg and parmesan mixture and mix thoroughly. The residual heat in the pasta will cook the egg, but it won't be hot enough to scramble it. Add your parsley and more cracked black pepper and you're ready to serve!
Now for the fun part: the wine pairing! We've picked a few refreshing classics that will complement various aspects of this dish, from the aged parmesan, to the smokey bacon and pungent garlic flavor. For the white lovers, there's nothing like an elegant Pinot Grigio to enhance the savory weight of the sausage and parmesan. And we stress the elegant part of that statement: the Friulian Bidoli Pinot Grigio truly stands out in a sea of underwhelming, watery grigios wine drinkers have come to steer clear of. Dry, smooth and creamy, this white is and ideal companion to the heavy-weight Carbonara.
For a similar experience, pair with the Masseria Li Veli Primerose Rose of Negroamaro. The fruit and flower notes, along with the wine's lively acidity will cut through the fat and weight of the carbs, lightening every mouthful and making you want to dive into another sip and another bite.
We've also picked two incredible reds to go with the dish, both bright and light-bodied, with low enough tannin levels that they won't introduce a harsh edge to the salt and smoke flavors. The Masciarelli Montepulciano is an always safe go-to for Italian dinners, one of the most food-friendly Italian reds in our selection, this non-fussy, bright wine will pair with anything pasta, from creamy to cheesy and tomato-ey. For a higher-end pairing, the Zyme Valpolicella is a dream. Silky-smooth, juicy but with plenty of character, this spectacular Valpolicella could be the crowning jewel to your Italian summer dining experience. You could even serve it with a slight chill and let it come to temperature as you're enjoying it, savoring the subtle nuances of its dark ruby yummyness.
Don't forget we offer free delivery, so you won't even have to leave the house to impress your family with a fabulous Italian meal!