Taste of Abruzzo workshop with Chef Danilo Cortellini

May 29, 17 Taste of Abruzzo workshop with Chef Danilo Cortellini

Recently I was invited to a masterclass of pasta making and wine tasting with the Wines of Abruzzo.

Abruzzo is located on the eastern shoreline of Italy, east of Rome and south of Marche. The region may not be as well known as other regions of Italy but it has plenty to offer in both food and wine.

Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, Masterchef ProfessionalsChef Danilo Cortellini (of Professional Masterchef fame and a native of Abruzzo) was on hand to give us a demonstration of traditional pasta making. Chef Danilo is also the official chef of the Italian Embassy here in London and features many regional dishes of Abruzzo in his cooking at the Embassy.

The evening started with an explanation and demo of pasta making and then we got to try our hand at pasta rolling. Looking at my efforts, I think I’ll leave it to the professionals.

pasta making, recipe from Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, Masterchef Professionals

need to work on my pasta rolling skilz

filling tortellin, Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, Masterchef Professionals

parsley tortellini, recipe by Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, Masterchef Professionals

tortellini made by me…

 

Dinner was prepared by Chef Danilo and his team.

We started with Sicilian Red Prawn tartare, marinated in sweet chili  and burrata mousse. Paired with the Contessa 2016 Pecorino The Pecorino was generous and had just the right balance of fruit and acidity to have with the prawn. Pecorino is not only a cheese it is also the name of the grape. An unsung hero of Italian whites.

Sicilian Red Prawn tartare, marinated in sweet chili  and burrata mousse. Paired with the Contessa , recipe by Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, Masterchef Professionals, London

Contessa 2016 Pecorino , Italian white wineNext we had Sardine Beccafico which is a rustic recipe from Sicily. In Danilo’s hands, it was light and crispy, paired with two Trebbianos, the 2016 Talamonti and the 2015 Nicodemi. Trebbiano is often thought of as a non-descript wine but these two wines both had substance and flavour.

Sardine Beccafico, recipe by Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, London, Masterchef Professionals

 the 2016 Talamonti, Italian wine, white wine

the 2015 Nicodemi, Italian wine, white wineThe pasta course was traditional ravioli with sweet ricotta, the same that Danilo had used for the demo earlier. Light and slightly sweet due to the nutmeg, it was paired with the San Clemente Zaddagnini Montepulciano 2012. I’ve always liked Montepulciano and this one with just the right balance of acidity and tannins went well with the pasta and tomato sauce.

 traditional ravioli with sweet ricotta,recipe by Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, London, Masterchef Professionals

 San Clemente Zaddagnini Montepulciano 2012, Montepulican d'Abbruzo, Italian red wineDessert was a Pizza dolce, basically a layered sweet cake, paired with a Montepulciano Vigne Corvino. Red Dessert wines can sometimes be a bit heavy but this one was just right. Although the cake was good, I prefer to drink my dessert.

 Pizza dolce, recipe by Chef Danilo Cortellini, Italian Embassy, London, Masterchef Professionals

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Vigne Corvino 2015, Italian wine, red wine, dessert wineA delicious evening and a look into the better wines of Abruzzo. The best thing about the wines is that as they are relatively unknown, you can snap up good quality bottles at a fraction of the price of more famous wines of Italy.

Cactus Kitchen, Clapham, London

Cactus Kitchen, Clapham, London

 

 

 

 

 

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