Inspired by a recent best-of episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover”, I had to try one of the show’s featured dishes. The episode was “The Layover – Rome”, the dish was Cacio e Pepe (pasta w/cheese and black pepper).
This simple, yet amazing dish, calls for very few ingredients – pasta, fresh Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Although you may find yourself tempted to add to the list of ingredients, trust me, there is no need to. The beauty and flavor of the dish is in its simplicity – but use only the best of ingredients. Bourdain summed it up this way…”you can’t believe how good this dish is, it’s looks like nothing, but it’s everything”
You can find a very good Cacio e Pepe recipe here: www.theitaliandishblog.com
For the wine, there are several really good options from all over Italy. For whites, Pinot Grigio or Trebbiano would pair nicely. For reds, keep it light and dry with a young Chianti or Dolcetto.
However, for this pairing, I turned to Burgundy France and opened a bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse. The viscosity of Pouilly-Fuisse is an equal match for the dish, plus Pouilly-Fuisse has the ability to cut through and cleanse the palate with its minerality and crisp liveliness.
Pouilly-Fuisse is the name of the village in the Maconnais region of Burgundy, producing highly distinctive Chardonnay wine. Burgundy is one of the major wine producing regions that hold an AOC designation, and is located in central eastern France. There are five main regions within Burgundy. From north to south thay are: Chablis, Cote d’Or (includes Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune), Cote Chalonnaise, Maconnais and Beaujolais.
Color: Pale gold with a hint of green.
Nose: Slightly tight, with aromas of tree fruit and herbs.
Palate: Refreshingly round with plenty of herbal fruitiness and balanced acidity.
Finish: Crisp, palate cleansing finish.