DaVinci Wine Cookbook: page 7 [of 10] SECONDI
Secondi. The second coarse is the main coarse of the meal: the protein climax. This is where you pull out the big forks and knives to dive into wild boar stew, tuna steaks, and fish or sausage nestled in a bed of cannellini beans with garlicky tomato sauce. This was when we were already happily stuffed to the gills with big samplings of salami and pecorino, chicken liver pate, a salad or soup and a glorious plate of pasta with ragu. More you say? I can always find room for more boar, especially if it is reminiscent of the wild boar stew we had at the Goose and Wild Boar Feast at Cerreto Guidi:
Wild Boar Stew.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced. 1 small onion, minced 2 carrots, coarsely chopped 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 LBS wild boar, 1 inch chunks ½ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes 1 tsp dried Italian parsley/thyme/oregano (Italian seasoning) KS&CP TT (Kosher Salt & Coarse Pepper, To Taste) 1 cup red wine 1 cup pureed tomatoes or homemade basic tomato sauce (pureed) 1 cup beef broth (bonus points for homemade)
Heat up the extra-virgin olive oil in a large stewing pot. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook 5 min; add garlic, cook another 3 min. Up heat to medium and add boar---with all seasonings---browning sides. Cook 4-6 minutes then add wine. Reduce to a low simmer, cook 45 min. Add the tomato puree, beef broth, and salt. Lower heat a bit more, cover with lid and cook for 2 hours at ‘barely a simmer’.
Note: I made this with Wild Boar stew meat, which I was able to purchase in Seattle. Ask your local butcher to order wild boar for you. However, if you want to make this stew---boar or no boar---substitute beef tri-tip or stew meat. That should do it.
Wine Pairing: For this deep and wide of a dish, you have to go long with your wine: a robust, complex red is in order. I suggest: DaVinci’s Brunello di Montalcino. I DID say climax after all.
Rabbit with olives.
4 T extra-virgin olive oil 3 LB rabbit, cut into 10 pieces KS&CP TT (Kosher Salt & Coarse Pepper, To Taste) 1/2 cup red wine 1/2 onion, minced 2 carrot, minced 1 celery rib, minced 2 T tomato paste 2 rosemary sprigs, tied into 2 bundles with kitchen string 2 cups chicken stock (bonus points for homemade) 2/3 cup black olives (I used crushed black Spanish olives, no pits)
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil; season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, brown the rabbit over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until crusty all over, 6-8 min. Transfer the rabbit to a large plate.
Add the wine to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the wine into a cup; wipe out the skillet.
Skillet to medium low, add remaining olive oil, onion, carrots, celery and begin to caramelize---about 6-8 min. Add the tomato paste and cook 2-3 mi, stirring. Add rosemary sprigs, rabbit plus accumulated juices, wine. After a few minutes, add ½ the stock, S&P, bring to low simmer and add lid (just askew); cook 30 minutes. Add olives, remaining stock and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and the rabbit is tender, 20 min. Discard the rosemary bundles. Serve the rabbit in shallow bowls.
Wine Pairing: this dish deserves a special red---I would pull out DaVinci’s Chianti Riserva.
Mussels in wine & garlic.
We had an impressive variety of seafood while dining at the WINE LOFT in Vinci, Italy. Located at the base of Casale di Valle (where we stayed), it is a gem of a restaurant. Both outdoor and indoor seating is teaming with ambience. They are known for their seafood dishes, and we simply couldn’t get enough of the mussels.
4 cloves garlic KS&CP TT (Kosher Salt & Coarse Pepper, To Taste) ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread 2 shallots, coarsely chopped 1 2/3 cups white wine 1 1/2 pounds cultivated mussels, scrubbed 2 T chopped, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Optional: 1 baguette, halved lengthwise, rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with KS&CP then grilled or broiled (when still hot, rub face of bread with raw garlic).
Sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil over medium low heat; add salt, red and black peppers. After 6-8 minutes add white wine. Let simmer a few minutes, then add scrubbed mussels and cover pan. Cook 7-9 minutes. Open pot, discard any mussels that failed to open and put just-mussels in serving bowl(s). Swirl parsley and 2 T butter into wine sauce then pour over mussels. Serve grilled baguette alongside.
Wine Pairing: mussels with white wine broth pairs well with DaVinci Wine’s Pinot Grigio.
*this cookbook was produced for DaVinci Wines; they kindly sponsored a trip to Vinci, Italy for 4 Storytellers---I was the 'Culinary Storyteller.' While I was not paid to go on the trip (well in experience "dollars" YES!), DaVinci Wines paid for the trip. Yet as is always the case: all opinions, recipes and insights are my own.