From the “life could be worse” department…
Above: Call me crazy but I paired cherry stone clam pizza and Nebbiolo the other day at Nonna in Dallas. It was delicious. The fruit in the 2005 Produttori del Barbaresco is showing beautifully right now and shows no signs of wanting to close up.
The San Diego Kid (that’s me, your resident wine cowboy) found himself in Dallas the other day, dusty and tired after a day of showing wine, with a six-pack of wine still slung around his back, his trusty companion Dinamite (the Silver Hyundai) beaten but not broken, and a bottle half-full of 2005 Produttori del Barbaresco still to be drunk. So he moseyed on over to the nearest saloon and parked his chaparreras at the bar at Nonna, where owner Julian Barsotti insisted he have the white pizza with cherry stone clams.
Above: Rock star owner and chef Julian Barsotti of Nonna makes some of the best pizza in Texas. He spent a season in Naples where he studied at the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.
Julian opens the cherry stone clams first, reserves the juices, and then slowly wilts Vidalia onions with their juice and some cream until the onions literally melt and the cream and clam juice reduce to a thick sauce which he seasons with a mix of finely chopped herbs. Before firing the pizza in a wood-fired oven, he dresses the pizza with the clams, sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano. I’m still a big fan of his Margherita but the white clam pizza was the best I’ve ever had this side of New Haven, Connecticut.
The pairing was as decadent as it was delicious. In Italy, I still pair my pizza with beer (as tradition dictates) but here in the Wild West, crazy things can happen.
In other news…
I couldn’t be there this year (but I was last year): the first couple of Italian-American food and wine Michele and Charles Scicolone hosted their second “bygone wines” dinner in New York. Check out Eric’s post here.
In other other news…
Today (April 25) is Liberation Day in Italy, commemorating the partisans’s triumph over fascist and Nazi rule in 1945 (Milan and Turin were liberated on this day).