Friday, May 17, 2024

Hard Pass On The Pasta - I'll Take The Olive Oil

I recently had the opportunity to sample a very nice Italian wine, Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco. I loved it. Along with that, I was given a sample of a couple of Frescobaldi's other ventures. Their Tirrena pasta and the accompanying Laudemio Frescobaldi Extra Virgin Olive Oil receive a more mixed review.

The Tirrena pasta is cultivated from ancient wheat grown in the Tuscan terroir. The olive oil has a rich history which dates back to the Middle Ages. The folks at Tirrena sent along a recipe using both of those items. 


Tirrena Spaghetti with Laudemio Frescobaldi Oil, Pepper, and Parmesan (pairs with Pomino Bianco)

Tirrena Spaghetti
Laudemio Frescobaldi EVOO
Parmigiano Reggiano
Black Pepper

Boil water and add salt to taste
Add the Tirrena Spaghetti and boil for 11 minutes
Reserve 1 cup of pasta water 
Drain spaghetti and add back to a saucepan
Mix in Laudemio Frescobaldi EVOO and stir until creamy
Top with black pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano

Now for the bad news. The pasta was nothing to write home about, especially for my spousal culinary expert. She was quick and brief with her review. "I hate it," she said after the first mouthful. "It ruined your fantastic sauce!" She had the pasta with my famous tomato sauce (her recipe). I had mine as per the recipe above, and it paired wonderfully with the Pomino Bianco wine. I stirred in the Parmesan cheese along with some pepper. 

If you cook this pasta for 11 minutes, as prescribed, you will be eating crunchy spaghetti. I cooked it for 18 minutes and it was still rather al dente. The oil was delightful, however. 

Is there such a thing as simply virgin olive oil? Extra virgin seems to be all I could find in a semi-serious search. I ask in all seriousness, although the question probably points out a deficiency in my kitchen knowledge. 

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