Italian Menu Project: Abruzzo

4 Course Abruzzese Menu  $45   

Dominated and isolated by the Gran Sasso, the “great rock” or “roof of Italy”, and the Appenines to the North,  West and South and the Adriatic only a short way to the East, Abruzzo is an isolated, rugged region.  This is sheep herding land with unique lamb dishes, exquisite Pecorinos (sheep’s milk cheese) and a native white varietal, Pecorino, named because it is harvested when the sheep come down the mountain at the end of summer.  Italy’s 5th largest wine producing region, despite its relatively small size, Abruzzo is also famous for Brodetto, a fish stew to be paired with the crisp, salty white wines as a Lamb sugo pairs perfectly with the juicy black cherry fruit associated with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Fritto Misto all’Ascolana, lamb-stuffed olives, sweet custard, pecorino fonduta

Saffron Cavatelli, pancetta, pecorino, egg

Spaghetti alla Chitarra, lamb ragu

Persimmon Gelato, ferratelle

Abruzzese Wine Flight  $16   

Like most of Southern Italy, wine production in Abruzzo has improved considerably over the last two decades.  So, while there is still a tremendous amount of bulk Montepulciano being produced, there are many more artisanal producers making serious reds and whites from blends of Pecorino, & Trebbiano, Italy’s most planted white.  With only one small DOCG, this is a region to find great value.

Pecorino, Poggio Anima ’14, Terre di Chieti
Aged in stainless steel and hevily influenced by the limestone mountains, this is a crisp, citrus-driven, high acid white to pair with fatty cheeses and oily seafood.

Montepulciano, Ulisse ’15,  Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo
A light and spiced expression of Montepulciano rose which can tend towards a denser ripe cherry profile.

Montepulciano, Di Sipio ’13, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Dark, dense and rocky.  All stainless aging maintains the grape’s high acidity and firm tannic structure.  Dried cherries & dried green herbs make this a classic match for the region’s lamb dishes.

For every set menu sold, Mealshare US will provide a meal for a hungry child in Central Texas.  Thank you.