Food Wine & Friends Page 166
A DINNER (AND LUNCH) WITH
This branch of the Pasetti family owns a wonderful
vineyard and cellar in Italy's Abruzzo region.
I drove to Francavilla al Mare along the Adriatic coast and was met there by
Rocco and his San Francisco Bay Area importer, Amanzio.
Rocco also owns a small "enoteca" in town and it was great to peruse
the wines being offered, in addition to his own production.
Especially interesting is watching regular customers come
to the store with an empty jug to fill up a bottle...
Il Mio Vino.
We then drove over to Castello Pasetti and the home of
Rocco and family.
Of course, selecting the proper wines in his private cellar was of paramount
Rocco's daughter Perla is an enthusiastic taster.
Mrs. Rocco presents a humungous bowl of steamed shellfish.
Yes, this tasted even better than it looks.
1977 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo.
We also enjoyed a fresh bottle of the 2004.
The 1977 was grand, though. Mature, minerally and mildly smoky.
Check the color of this 31+ year old Trebbiano:
2004 on the left...1977 on the right.
Mrs. Rocco (Patrizia) and Mrs. Amanzio (Paris) compare tasting notes...
Franco Pasetti and his sister Perla.
Franco's little brother, Pierpaolo (who uses lardo, I think, for hair
Rocco and Patrizia with a small pan of Paccheri.
Next it was time to pour the 1977 Valentini Montepulciano.
The main plate was a roasted fish with potatoes and black
Rocco did a masterful job in serving the fish.
Pierpaolo might have used this to comb his hair...
...except he fell asleep on the couch!
Rocco then decanted a bottle of 1997 Pasetti
Patrizia then served a wonderful Tiramisu for dessert...
After a nice snooze, the following morning we ventured
inland to see the Contesa vineyards and winery in the village of Collecor-Vino.
They even have a sign posted urging us to "sell wine."
The cellar is beautifully immaculate.
We tasted a number of barrel and tank samples...
It was time for lunch and Rocco knew just the right place
for traditional, old-school, Abruzzese cooking.
Contrada Palazzo, 111
65014 Loreto Aprutino (PE)
(+39) 085 8289321
(+39) 085 8289610
This is one of those places known to the locals, but which
guide books generally overlook.
We sat down and the proprietor soon came by offering us a
slice of some sort of "torta" to start and he opened Rocco's
A brief discussion of what was cooking ensued and soon the food arrived at the
A tomato and pepper "stew."
A waiter arrived with a serving table and a pan full of
Pasta alla Mugnaia is a specialty of this place and
should you find yourself anywhere in the area, you must have a plate!
Rocco explained the "miller" (mugnaio) would mill various
grains and the "left-overs" would be mixed and turned into a pasta by
the miller's wife (she's the mugnaia).
The dough is worked vigorously by hand and turned into a round "wheel"
where it's pulled and pressed. Whatever they do, it's a toothsome pasta
with a remarkable texture.
There was a bit of discussion about the use of peppers in Abruzzese cooking and
there was a slight change in the menu...and this plate arrived...
More peppers arrived with this plate of greens and beans...
Rocco's Montepulciano was at its best with some simply grilled lamb chops.
The chef and her "office."
Many thanks to the Pasetti family for the hospitality and for introducing me to
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