Spring is a ways off, but you can conjure it with the flavors of baby artichokes and fresh lemon in this quick pasta dish. Likewise, fresh flavors of citrus, pears, apricot and other stone fruit in these crisp white wines complement the dish and make us think of warmer days.
PASTA SHELLS WITH ARTICHOKES
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 clove garlic, chopped. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add 1 pound frozen baby artichokes, thawed, and 1/2 cup dry white wine. Season with salt. Cook to reduce wine slightly and heat artichokes through, 5 minutes or so. Stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons cream; cook to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; 1/2 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped; and finely grated zest of 1 lemon. Toss with 1 pound cooked medium pasta shells and 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe by Joe Gray
Pairings by sommelier Aaron McManus of Oriole, as told to Michael Austin:
2013 Jean-Marc Brocard Vau de Vey Premier Cru Chablis, Burgundy, France: This crisp chardonnay smells of golden apples, fresh white flowers, lemons and almonds, plus notes of wet stony minerality. The palate has a mouthwatering freshness to it, with flavors of citrus, pears and a hint of mushrooms. The citrus flavors in the wine will complement the lemon in the pasta while the wine’s slight nuttiness will pair nicely with the cheese.
2014 Domaine Vacheron Les Romains Sancerre, Loire Valley, France: This sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley offers aromas of limes and grapefruit, green apple, white flowers, tarragon, green pepper and chalk. Also, a touch of stone fruit comes through on the light and refreshing palate. The green flavors in the wine will complement the green olives and artichokes, and the wine’s herbal qualities will match well with the parsley.
Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy: This sparkling wine is a blend of 75 percent chardonnay, 15 percent pinot nero and 10 percent pinot bianco, which produce aromas of toast, nuts, candied citrus peels, baked apple, lemon curd and apricot. The wine has a creamy quality that will complement the Romano cheese. Plus, its effervescence will help cut through the richness of the cream.
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