Match of the week
Cacio e pepe and Frappato
I’ve never known quite what wine to pair with cacio e pepe, the fashionable pasta dish that’s just based on cheese (usually pecorino) and cracked pepper.
It’s not creamy like a carbonara but it is very (deliciously) cheesy and the pepper adds a spicy hit that would fight with anything tannic.
I’ve drunk English sparkling wine with it when it was paired with fried chicken but I think that was more about the chicken than the pasta and could have gone down the white wine route. The dish originally comes from Rome so I could have drunk a Frascati if I’d been able to get hold of decent one.
I was thinking along the lines of a light red like a Valpolicella but Francesco at my local Italian deli, Divino in Bristol, where I buy my pici (the thick spaghetti-like pasta you need for cacio e pepe) suggested a light juicy Sicilian Frappato (the Sibiliana Roceno 2018) which went perfectly. You seem to be able to buy it online from Alivini (for £9.19 a bottle plus delivery) though they’re normally a trade supplier, I believe.
By the way cacio e pepe is really easy to make if you want to try it at home - Felicity Cloake gives a recipe in her excellent The Perfect series. Be warned though: it is addictive!
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