In May, on a trip to Tuscany for the Gastronomic Food and Wine Experience, hosted by Zonin Wines, we visited the Martelli Pasta Factory! Here we met Laura Martelli and her brother Luca who showed us around the factory before we sat down for an incredible pasta lunch. The pasta is made from durum wheat and is carefully crafted in an on-site family run facility. They sell the pasta dried and ship all over the world.
This day in Tuscany was all about food, and before we sat down for a delicious Italian lunch aka “feast” we stopped into a local butcher shop to learn about Charcuterie. We took a tour into their Salami Cellar where you were able to see just how they dry the salami, and provide the perfect environment for it to grow mold around the casing. It’s quite an experience and unlike anything I have seen before. After exploring the cellar a bit, they showed us how they also hang and age their Prosciutto, which comes from healthy and happily raised pigs. What I absolutely loved about this Gastronomy Experience is the care and quality these people put into their products. Nothing is mass produced, and they produce only what the animals will give them. What’s special about their meat too is that they wait at least 1 year for the pigs to fully develop enough muscle and fat, before they are used for meat. This allows the pig to grow healthy and strong, so no additives are used, making it a better tasting and more quality driven meat.
Ok, now time to talk about the food! As we sat down to lunch at I Burattiani, I was just in awe, 1. that I was having lunch in Tuscany, and 2. that I was on this incredible food and wine learning journey that was beyond anything I could have ever wished for. We started off with a Sparkling Rosé: Oltrenero Cruasé Brut- Oltrepò Pavese DOCG paired with an array of aged meats from the local butcher shop. Sparkling wine and charcuterie are really a match made in heaven, especially when there is the perfect amount of fat marbling the meat, which there was. This wine was elegant and medium bodied with expressive strawberry and rose notes. On the palate, it’s dry and playful with a lot of citrus, floral, and berry flavors; it’s one of my favorite sparkling’s I tried on the trip!
After a bit of bubbly, we enjoyed the Saesso 2016 Primitivo Salento IGT. This wine is from a Zonin winery called Masseria Altemura. It’s deep in color with plenty of spice, red berry, and black fruit notes. On the palate, it’s soft with balanced notes of fruit and cigar spice, with a nice finish and smooth tannins. Paired was our first pasta course of Martelli Spaghetti Carbonara, which was honestly the best carbonara I have ever had! When paired with this red wine, it was even more stunning, because this wine plays nicely with meat and cheese; then again, don’t all Italian wines?
Our third course was a unique tube-shaped pasta with a saffron cream sauce, asparagus, and parmesan cheese. Paired was a wonderful white from Ca’ Bolani. The 2016 Aquilis Sauvignon Blanc, from Friuli Aquileia DOC, was crisp and mineral-driven with bright citrus notes and white flowers. On the palate, it was acidic but balanced and paired perfectly with the creamy pasta. The minerality in this wine plays nicely with the asparagus and parmesan cheese.
For dessert, we enjoyed a wonderful 2017 Castello del Poggio Moscato d’ Asti DOCG. I must say, I am hit or miss with Moscato, however, when it comes to Castello del Poggio, I really do love their Moscato! The sweetness is not too overbearing and it paired nicely with the Tart Cherry Gelato we were served.
While visiting Tuscany, I absolutely recommend taking a day to explore the Martelli Pasta Factory and the town it’s in. It’s such a quaint little city with great shops, local food, great people, and tons of culture. You can find many of these wines on the blog here, in my gift guides as well as they are available nationwide for shipping.