I was excited to hear the Italian Food Wine & Travel (#ItalianFWT) event would travel to Sicily this month. I don’t have Sicilian wine quite as much as some other regions, such as Tuscany or the Piedmont. But I’ve tended to enjoy what I have tried. Whether it’s a nice juicy Nero D’Avola or a crisp white, Sicilian wine suits me just fine.
Keeping with my typical style, I wanted to cook something inspired by ingredients one would enjoy in Sicily, while not necessarily following a traditional recipe. I think seafood and tomatoes when I think of Sicilian food, such as the Grilled Swordfish & Eggplant recipe I’ve featured here. But Sicilian cuisine also emphasizes cooking seasonally, which won’t include tomatoes for awhile around here.
With the snow almost melted as we approach Easter, asparagus is the fresh vegetable I’m looking to feature. So I decided to feature that in a dish along with seafood. This led to the focus of my post: Sicilian Wine for Linguine with Cod and Asparagus.
This dish is pretty easy to put together. Pepper and garlic sauté in some olive oil, then the cod gets cooked up in that same skillet. Toss with some linguine and steamed asparagus, and a bit of cheese and lemon juice, and you have a nice meal…ready to be enjoyed with some wine!
Wine Pairing: Pairing wine with asparagus is notoriously tricky, but I’d previously had a good experience going with a a Grillo for an asparagus salad. So I thought I’d serve up the 2013 Grillo Parlante Sicilian wine with asparagus and cod linguine. The first thing I note about this wine is salinity. I swear I would have said that even if I didn’t know it came from an island! Nice acidity, lemon fruit and mineral undertones. That mineral element and salinity seemed to help make the asparagus match work. This is a medium bodied white, just right for the cod and linguine. All said, a very good wine pairing for this linguine, cod and asparagus recipe!
This wine is produced by Fondo Antico, a family-run estate, in western Sicily, north of Marsala. Grillo is a white wine grape with roots in Sicily, making it a nice choice for this edition of #ItalianFWT!
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly the long way
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh basil, julienned
- 12 to 16 ozs cod fillet, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 2 inch pieces (woody portion of stem discarded)
- 12 ozs linguine
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp capers
- Place a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add the pepper slices, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the pepper begins to soften. Add the garlic, and cook for two more minutes.
- Push the peppers and garlic the the edge of the skillet. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, then add the cod. Pour the white wine over and around the cod. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Start cooking the pasta around the same time you add the cod to the skillet.
- Steam the asparagus in a separate pan as you cook the cod. The asparagus will take 3 to 5 minutes to get just tender, depending on the thickness. When done, drain and set aside.
- After the cod has cooked for 5 minutes, carefully turn the fillet over to cook on the other side. Sprinkle the basil and capers around the pan at this time. Cook the cod until just cooked through, about 5 more minutes (i.e. 10 minutes total cook time). Lift the cod fillet out of the skillet with a slotted spoon when cooked, set aside on a platter and cover to keep warm.
- When the linguine is cooked to your liking, drain it, then toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pepper and garlic mixture, which also now has the cooking wine from the cod, and toss with the linguine. Toss in the asparagus, followed by the cheese and lemon juice.
- Plate the linguine, and serve a portion of the cod over each plate of linguine. Pass cheese and a quartered lemon at the table for people to add more if they like. Enjoy with an Italian white wine!
If you enjoy this post for the #ItalianFWT visit to Sicily, join my fellow bloggers and what they have to share on their sites.
Vino Travels – Wine & Food of Sicily: Inzolia & Arancini
Curious Appetite – Sicilian Cannoli and wine pairings
Cooking Chat – Pairing for Linguine with Cod and Asparagus
Rockin Red Blog – Celebrating Sicily on #ItalianFWT
Enofylz wine blog – A Taste of Sicily-Tuna and Seabass Spiedini #ItalianFWT
FoodWineClick – From Etna Bianco to Marsala, A Sicilian Wine Tour
Girls Gotta Drink – Etna Wine: volcanic wines that don’t taste like ash
We are live on twitter today and throughout the weekend at #ItalianFWT. Join us and share your food, wine and travel experiences in Sicily. We’d love to hear from you!