I guess I had the right idea with this recipe and wine pairing. I associate truffles with the Piemonte region of Northern Italy, so I thought featuring some truffle butter in a recipe to pair with a Langhe Nebbiolo would be a good idea. The result was this savory Ziti with Swordfish and Truffle Butter.
I have a variety of wines to sample from Demarie winery, courtesy of my fellow blogger Valerie Quintanilla from Girls Gotta Drink. Her husband is a wine maker for Demaria, and she asked if I’d like to try to develop some recipes to go with the Demarie wines. Last I email I got from her, she mentioned she’d been busy lately with the local truffle festival. Yep, working truffles into a dish to pair with Piemonte wine was right on target!
If you haven’t tried truffle butter yet, it’s a great ingredient to add a touch of luxury to your cooking. You can order some White Truffle Butter by d’Artagnan using the Amazon link. I used a different truffle butter from Pairings Wine & Food, but have enjoyed several other products from D’Artagnan so expect their truffle butter would be good. You could also try using a teaspoon of truffle oil plus regular butter if you don’t have the truffle butter on hand.
One crucial rule of good cooking is to let the star ingredients shine. So here, I just simply sauté some bell pepper and spinach with garlic, toss it with ziti and cheese, then melt in some truffle butter. This would be delicious enough on its own, but I thought some swordfish would be a nice addition to round out the meal.
I prepared the swordfish with a little rub of thyme, sage and garlic powder. Using a rub with swordfish as I might for pork or steak is a new trick that we are liking a lot here. It really seals in some great flavor for the fish.
We’ve had some warm days this fall, so I grilled this swordfish to take advantage of the waning days of warmth. If you’d rather cook the swordfish indoors, you can roast in the oven it at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes, perhaps a bit more depending on the thickness of your swordfish steak. No need to turn it over when roasting in the oven.
Wine Pairing: I made this Ziti with Swordfish and Truffle Butter to pair with the 2013 Demarie Langhe Nebbiolo. The wine is brick red in the glass. A vibrant, fresh nose. Juicy taste of strawberry, with some mineral undertones. An easy drinking wine. Unlike many wines from Piemonte, I’d be happy to sip a glass of this on its own. But this Nebbiolo does work very nicely paired with Ziti with Swordfish and Truffle Butter. The light fruitiness makes it work well with the fish, and the minerality gives it a earthy depth that pairs with the truffle butter. Another good Piemonte pairing! If you missed my Barolo with Mushroom Risotto post, be sure to check that out too.
Full disclosure: I received a courtesy sample of this wine from the winery. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
- 12 ozs ziti
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red or orange bell pepper, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 tbsp truffle butter
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
- 1 lb swordfish
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ dried thyme
- ½ dried sage
- Preheat the grill. Combine the garlic powder, salt, thyme and sage in a bowl. Gently rub over the swordfish steak. Set the swordfish aside as you begin the pasta.
- Boil water for pasta and begin cooking according to package instructions.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the bell pepper, sauté for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Add the garlic to the skillet, cook for another minute, then add the spinach. Sauté for a few more minutes until the spinach has begun to wilt. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain and then toss with the pepper and spinach mixture, and the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add the truffle butter and parmesan cheese, stirring to combine. Cover the pasta pot to keep warm as the swordfish grills.
- Start grilling the swordfish when the pasta is close to being done cooking. Spray the grill with oil spray, then place the swordfish on the grill.
- Grill the swordfish with the grill covered for 6 minutes. Flip the fish to the other side. Grill another 6 minutes, and check for doneness. You want the fish to be just cooked through (all white) but still moist. This typically takes 12 to 15 minutes of total grilling time depending on the thickness of the fish. When the swordfish is done remove it to a platter.
- Plate a serving of the pasta, then place a portion of the swordfish on top. Sprinkle a bit of extra parmesan cheese on top of the pasta and swordfish. Enjoy with a glass of Nebbiolo or other Italian red wine.
Need to get some truffle butter? Here’s a link to where you can get some via Amazon. This is an affiliate link, meaning I earn a small commission if you choose to purchase using the link.