Summer Wine Pairing: Grillo with Zesty Fettuccine with Asparagus and Burrata

Burrata cheese and pasta: a delicious combination, especially when paired with the crisp, bright flavors of a summery white wine. Burrata cheese is, in layman’s terms, a soft, mozzarella cheese exterior, filled with pure cream like a little pouch, waiting to be opened. Much softer than you might usually choose to serve with pasta, it melts into a gloriously gooey mess atop hot noodles, making it a go-to indulgence for those summery evenings outside by the fire.

What wine pairing for summer works the best with Burrata cheese and pasta? Although Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnay may be your usual go to for warm weather sipping, alternative white wines like an Italian Grillo can be a refreshing way to get outside of your usual wine ‘box’. Hailing from the region of Sicily, Grillo wine varietals are high in minerality, dry, crisp, and full of fruit flavors like lemon, melon, and peach-all fruits in season during summer, making for a perfect complement to a light pasta or salad dish.

Try Valle dell’Acate’s Sicilia Bianco, Zagra, 2013 ($17.99), a 100% Grillo varietal, aged 4 months in stainless steel barrels before an additional aging of 2 months in the bottle. Deep yellow gold in color, with notes of white flower, lemon zest, and rose, it’s a fresh, balanced white wine that will pair beautifully with just about anything vegetarian, poultry, or seafood. Try it in lieu of a Chardonnay, and prepare to receive rave reviews from guests. Not sure how to choose a Grillo wine? Try looking for Wines of Sicilia DOC on the label.

sicilia-wine-pairing-Grillo-white-chardonnay-alternativesSummer Zesty Fettuccine with Asparagus and Burrata

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • One bunch thin, green asparagus
  • One lb. fettuccine or other wide pasta, such as tagliatelle
  • Large ball of burrata cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Trim the stem ends of the asparagus and add to boiling water. Cook for three minutes, or until crisp/tender. Remove and immediately place in bowl of ice water. Remove asparagus from ice water when cooled and cut spears on the diagonal into 3 inch pieces and set aside.

Add the pasta to the pot, and cook 2 minutes less than the package directions. Pasta should be just shy of al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Heat pan on medium high and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then the asparagus. Sauté for 3 minutes, then add the pasta and reserved pasta water. Bring the pan to a simmer and cook for until the sauce thickens, a few minutes.

Evenly place the pasta and sauce on 4 plates. Divide burrata into four pieces and nestle it into the middle of pasta. Sprinkle liberally with lemon zest, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: Sicilia DOC

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