A favorite Prosecco and Panzanella del Prete

Yesterday evening, before heading out to see our friends play music in Bird Rock (La Jolla), Tracie P and I were the guests of the Reynolds, who live in the house where I spent my childhood years.

Mrs. Reynolds made a fantastic dish that I’d never had before, panzanella del prete (above), the priest’s panzanella, a “rich” version of the classic Tuscan dish of summer, panzanella, a summer salad made with leftover saltless Tuscan bread and chopped summer vegetables and herbs (basil, tomato, cucumber, red onion, etc.).

Mrs. Reynolds even baked the Tuscan bread herself, using a Marcella Hazan recipe. Her panzanella del prete (a traditional dish of Garfagnana, northwest Tuscany) had olive-oil packed tuna and blanched carrots, and tomatoes and thyme grown in her garden. Utterly delicious…

We paired the dish with what has become my favorite wine of the summer, the best Prosecco (IMHO) that you can buy in the U.S., Costadilà.

Made with ambient yeast, fermented in bottle, and aged on its lees (with no filtering), Costadilà Prosecco is the type of Prosecco I would drink when I was living and playing music in the province of Belluno during graduate-school summers. Each year, I’d drive down to visit with Nico Naldini (Pasolini’s cousin and collaborator) down in Solighetto in the heart of Prosecco country.

This wine isn’t for everyone: it’s cloudy and crunchy, salty and gritty… and man, it is UNBELIEVABLY good…

Dulcis in fundo…

I love seeing all my high school friends, like Michael Kornberg (left) and Andrew Harvey, who brought his baby girl to his gig last night. Andrew is a fantastic drummer (he plays with me in the Grapes, too).

The baby fever going around is contagious!