L’Italia Mi Fare Triste–Bring on the Vino
It’s freaking hot in NYC, and I’ve been dying for some super summer weather–and the food that goes with it–but even sun worshippers like me could use a break from the 100+ temperatures that have been ravaging this concrete jungle for the past 10 days.
I could also use a break from Italy giving up the Euro 2012 yesterday. While mourning their loss from the subzero atmosphere I created in the bachelor pad, I whippped up an Italian favorite paired with a crisp white vino.
Does this classify as emotional eating? Was I using wine as a crutch? You’re absolutely right I was–and there’s no way I’d rather drown my soccer-induced sorrows than with a pile of Scampi alla Veneziana and a magnum glass of Orvieto Classico.
Essentially, this shrimp dish takes American shrimp scampi and removes all the guilt (read: butter, and carb-loaded pasta). I used thisrecipe, but in essence scampi alla veneziana is quickly sauteed or boiled shrimp with a dash of chilli flakes, and generous drizzles of lemon juice and olive oil. Since it’s equally good hot or cold, it’s an awesome heat wave antipasti.
Naturally, the Italians also craft perfect heat/emotion-friendly beverages to accompany said scampi. In Venice, one would likely drink it with a crisp, tart Pinot Grigio (something like this would work if you’re in the USA) though I opted for a bottle of Orvieto Classico. This inexpensive white hails from a tiny city I visited once, about 2 hours outside of Rome.
I chose the 2011 Gaetano D’Aquino ($5.99) which was light and lively, with great citrus flavor and a floral, slightly earthy nose. The scampi-vino combo was like sunshine breaking through on a cloudy day–I felt like I was practically in Venice, blithely unaware of the disappointment Italy was to the world on Sunday.
Ahhhh, ignorance is bliss. Viva Italia.
Italian Summer Fare Uncorked:
Laura Loves: Pesto on just about any protein/vegetable combo like this. Another dish that rocks hot or cold.
Hot Italian soccer players. (You can’t be upset with guys like these for too long.)
Orvieto Classico, Prosecco, and Frascati Superiore wines for channeling slow-moving Italian life on hot summer days.
Bargain-priced Italian vino from Trader Joe’s. I’m always pleasantly surprised by their selection.
Fun Facts: Italy is the 2nd most successful team in World Cup history, falling just behind Brazil for the most wins.
Orvieto has been producing white wines since the days of the Etruscans.
The average temperature during July in Italy is 90 degrees.
Beware: While wine bottles don’t have nutrition facts yet, they could soon and then coping with wine will be a whole lot less enjoyable, especially during bikini season.