Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018 Stage 6: Caltaissetta to Etna

Where are we?

Caltanisetta:  Visit Sicily tells me that " Caltanissetta is a modern and intriguing city, as well as the largest inland town in terms of population.
Situated above sinuous hill sat an altitude of 568 meters, it has a section of great interest in its historical center,where together with the major religious buildings,aristocratic palaces are imposed, a tangible sign of the importance Caltanissetta heldin the past.

Its name is derived from the Arabic “Qal-atnisa”, which means the Castle of women. Today called Pietrarossa Castle, located on a hill outside the town.
The celebrations of the Easter period are particularly felt, during the time in which the city to celebrates with typical processions a very scenic presentation of their faith, which for centuries has distinguished it."

Giro regional specialties: Pasta “‘ncaciata” (with cauliflower and sausage), Pasta “ccu i mazzareddi” (pasta with a vegetable sauce); Pollo alla nissena (chicken with onions and caciocavallo cheese); Rollò (sponge cake roll with a ricotta filling); Torrone di Caltanissetta (nougat).

Etna: And now here we are at the highest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. The Smithsonian Global Volcanism project tells me that: Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.

The stage: Time to climb a volcano! The 28-rider break of the day has some interesting names including Esteban Chaves, Robert Gesink, and Sergio Henao. 


Partway through the stage, Diego Ulissi is our virtual maglia rosa (race leader). That would not be expected to stick. Sixty kilometers to go and the gap was around three minutes.

Forty kilometers to go and the gap was around two minutes. Plenty of time and road for the bunch to catch the break. Time to work though.
Meanwhile, the Kittel shampoo commercial is already making me nuts and it is only week one. Sigh.
Hello, Astana. Plans for the day? Lopez does have time to make up.
Fifteen kilometers to go and just about a minute gap, with 19 riders still out front. Speaking of the front, Gesink the first to attack from the break. He'd be joined by a small group, but the main break had fallen apart. Up they would go!
Twelve kilometers to go and there went Henao and Chaves bridging to DeMarchi and Hermans and their small group at the front.  Behind, the pink jersey group was also getting very small. Rohan Dennis was still holding on.
Ten kilometers to go and it was under one minute. Officially, the small groups all over the road portion of the stage and Sean Kelly on Eurosport thought the break might take the day.
Five kilometers to go and Ciccone alone at the front. Chasing and passing him, Chaves. Behind, Dennis finally dropped. Also in trouble, Froome, but he and Dennis would make it back. At least, initially.
Back up ahead, Chaves was looking good for the stage win. Behind him, Simon Yates with a very strong attack. Wow. He would catch his teammate Chaves at the front. One-two for the teammates.

Wine: Girolamo Russo 'A Rina 2015
Fresh and bright with some cherries as well as hints of leather and spice. This went down very quickly.

From the producer: The Girolamo Russo estate was founded in 2005 by Giuseppe Russo, in memory of his late father. The family are native of Passopisciaro, one of the key villages at the heart of the rebirth of Etna’s most important grape variety, Nerello Mascalese.
This is the north face of Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, in the north-eastern corner of Sicily.
The Russos have 26 hectares of land in and around Passopisciaro, with 15 hectares of vineyards surrounded by olive and hazelnut groves. The vineyards are high up, between 650 and 780 metres above sea level, inland from the beautiful town of Taormina. Many of the free-standing bush vines are over 80 years old, surviving in harmony with Etna’s black, mineral-rich volcanic soil.
Giuseppe works the vineyards organically and makes the wines himself. He vinifies each parcel separately, seeking out their individual identities in a series of wines that reflect the diverse character of their terroirs.

Food:  Maybe time for Cannoli?
This recipe is from Saveur:
Ricotta impastata, a smoother and drier version of ricotta, is typically used for filling cannoli. This recipe comes from cookbook author Nick Malgieri. This recipe appeared in our March 2011 issue as a part of our special feature, Soul of Sicily
makes about 24

For the Dough

2 12 cups flour
14 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
5 tbsp. red wine
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Canola oil, for frying

For the Filling

1 lb. ricotta, drained overnight in a cheesecloth-lined strainer, or ricotta impastata
34 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. orange zest
Amarena cherries, halved, to garnish
Candied orange peel strips, to garnish


For the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; add butter and rub it into flour with fingers until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add wine and 2 eggs and mix until dough forms. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead until smooth, 6-8 minutes. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Divide dough into quarters; working with one quarter at a time, pass dough through widest setting on pasta roller. Decrease setting by one notch and pass dough through roller; repeat, decreasing width by one level each time, until 116″ thick. Using a 4″ round cutter, cut out dough and transfer to parchment paper; repeat with remaining dough. Working with one dough circle at a time, wrap dough around a 1″ × 4 34″ cannoli core, and brush edges with egg white to seal. Repeat with remaining dough; set aside.
Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2″ and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Working in batches, fry cannoli until light brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer cannoli to paper towels to drain; while hot, carefully remove cannoli shell from core and set aside on a wire rack to cool.
For the filling: Combine ricotta, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 34″-wide plain tip. Pipe ricotta mixture into cannoli shells to fill. Garnish each end with a cherry half and orange peel strip.

No comments:

Post a Comment