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I read all these threads about these fabulous dinners people have at home, with photogenic, obviously labor-intensive food, and legendary bottles.   I can't speak for anybody else on this board, bu

If I'm not enjoying wine when I'm seventy, then my nieces and nephews are going to be stuck with a shitload of wine they won't know what to do with.   Or my next wife, who by then should be almost

Whaddya mean? That's more than half the meals I serve. Tossed with great care, I might add.

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There have been instances on this board where people have questioned the worth of Zojirushi rice cookers.

But I could never have made rice as perfect as tonight's before I had one.

Or rather, I could -- but it was random.  I had, and have, no idea what it was that led my rice to occasionally come out perfect.

Now, it's perfect every time.

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Pasta alla Norma.

There are two camps regarding this dish:  the long pasta camp and the tubular pasta camp.  I have habitually defaulted to the long pasta camp.  But I am here to tell you that I have switched sides.

Tonight I used Elicoidali, a (probably) Campanian tubular pasta with external ridges.  Not only does tubular pasta hold the sauce, but it stands up to the thick and lumpy sauce better than long pasta  -- especially one like this that's given extra textural bite by its ridges (which also further hold the sauce).

This dish didn't really call for a vegetable side dish -- hell, during High Summer I use eggplant and tomato, the base ingredients of the Norma sauce, as a vegetable side dish on their own -- but the gullet wants what it wants (and the refrigerator imposes what it wants).  Even if, given the fact that the red pepper I put into the Norma sauce was considerably hotter than it looked (I’m not complaining), the two dishes had very similar flavor profiles.  Anyway, roasted sprouted cauliflower with Calabrian Rose Marina sauce.

Two of my favorite dishes, together in one meal.  Wow.

All that hot pepper was challenging for the red wine I planned to have.  The wine I chose was almost up to it.

2019 I Custodi Etna Rosso "Pistus"

This not particularly expensive (mid-$20s) Etna Rosso, a blend of Nerellos Mascalese and Capuccio (mostly the former), is a real winner.

It's on the unfunky side of Natural, the kind that centers on focused fruit (meaning the kind of wine with lots of fruit that isn't anything like a fruit bomb).  There are other things going on here as well.  Mainly the minerals and tension you'd expect from a wine grown not only on a mountain, but on an active volcano (no I'm not suggesting that the wine is tense because Mount Aetna is always on the verge of erupting).  Very savory.  (Nice flowers on the nose, BTW -- especially nice with the basil blossoms I garnished the pasta with.)

Ironically, it's the elegance of the fruit that stopped this from being an absolutely perfect pairing for my dinner.  With all that hot chili, you want a wine whose fruit is a little more slobbery.

The other problem being that this wine had more tannin — and a bit more alcohol — than you’d ideally want with spicy food.

In itself, though, this is one very good wine, especially for the price.

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This is I Custodi's junior Etna Rosso, BTW.  They make a more expensive Nerello Mascalese/Nerello Capuccio wine that I'm sure is considerably better than this one.

I just wouldn't want to have it with spicy pasta is all.

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I had a Guinea Fowl, and I had some sage.

SO:  Pintade Rôti à la Sauge


Steamed (and buttered -- which I don't usually bother to do) haricots verts on the side.

I'm not saying there's only one thing to drink with this.  But almost only.

2017 Domaine Corsin Saint-Véran "Vielles Vignes"

This wanted an oaked Chardonnay, and that's what it got.

Lightly oaked, from the taste of it -- but I mean let's not go overboard here.

Apples to start.  Some lemon lurking around in the background, but only as an accent, really.  Then a long savory finish, and a hit of minerals (they're quick:  the savory stuff outlasts them).

Not overly toasty or anything -- but more body than an unoaked Chardonnay.

The Pintade could have stood something grander.  But it's Wednesday, and this was fine.

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1 hour ago, Sneakeater said:

Anyone have any ideas for the leftovers?

I don’t know what you have left over but some chopped and sautéed apples would be friendly to pintade.

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