If you can’t go to Tuscany, we will bring Tuscany to you, in the form of some delicious authentic recipes and wine pairings. Monterosola is one of the region’s finest contemporary wineries producing exceptional and award-winning wines that embody the magnificent character of the ancient land. Resting on a hillside overlooking the medieval city of Volterra, the Monterosola estate is a sight you will need to behold next year, but for now, you can get a taste of what to expect.
Monterosola’s winemaking philosophy embraces a less is more approach where the grapes themselves produce the notes and character as they mature on the vine. The unmistakable quality of its wines is achieved by constant attention to detail alongside gentle and organic farming methods.
One of the best ways to bring out the full potential of a wine is to pair it with some delicious food, so we’ve come up with three pairings you can try at home to bring the tastes of Tuscany to you.
Cassero – Wine Pairing
Monterosola’s Cassero is the perfect summer wine for a relaxed al-fresco aperitif with friends. When visiting the estate, guests start evenings with a glass of chilled Cassero while enjoying the early evening sun and preparing dinner. Cassero is a young, easy-drinking youthful wine that complements lighter dishes such as freshly grilled tuna or swordfish served with lemon. Here’s a recipe you would be enjoying in Tuscany.
Oven Baked Citrus Infused Sword Fish
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 swordfish steaks, cut to approximately 1/2-inch in thickness
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 medium fresh lemon
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon freshly chopped fennel fronds
Sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the swordfish by washing it under cold running water. Pat the fish dry with clean paper towels and set aside.
Prepare the dressing by pouring the olive oil into a small bowl and add several tablespoons of finely chopped parsley, two crushed garlic gloves, the finely chopped herbs, and the juice of the lemon.
Add a sprinkling of salt to taste and whisk all the dressing ingredients well until you have a creamy dressing.
Pour the dressing over the fish, covering each steak evenly and leave to rest for 30-60 minutes.
Now bake the fish in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the swordfish steaks, they should be cooked and juicy throughout, but do not allow to dry out.
Serve with an extra sprinkling of fresh parsley, lemon wedges and a fresh citrusy salad.
Primo Passo – Wine Pairing
The complexity and the structure of this wine go very well with fattier fish such as salmon or a traditional roast chicken prepared with lots of fresh seasonal herbs and grilled citrus. Primo Passo enhances both fish and poultry dishes and has the depth of character to complement flavourful, hand-picked herbs such as rosemary and sage.
Roast Chicken with Herbs and Lemon
Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
1 (4-5 Pounds) fresh whole organic chicken, quartered
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
10 fresh leaves of sage
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup good Italian olive oil
Baby / new potatoes with the skin left on – cut into halves
Chop the rosemary leaves with the sage and place in a large ceramic, ovenproof baking dish with the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
Place the chicken quarters in the dish and turn the pieces to coat well with the herb and oil mixture.
Cover with a cloth and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove from the fridge at least an hour before you want to bake the chicken to bring up to room temperature.
Stir the chicken pieces ensuring the marinade covers each piece. Now place the dish with the chicken into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces and now add the potatoes coating them with the chicken’s juices.
Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and cook an additional 50 minutes to an hour, or until the chicken is crispy and the juices run clear.
Serve hot with the roasted potatoes and a leafy green salad.
Mastio – Wine Pairing
Nothing is more Italian than a traditional stone-baked pizza. At Monterosola, guests would enjoy wood-fired pizzas with a glass of Mastio. This casual, yet elegant red wine works in harmony with the traditional flavours of Tuscany, prosciutto, salami, pecorino cheese and freshly picked basil. Make your own pizza with this recipe straight from Tuscany.
Classic Italian Pizza Rustico
For the dough
500g/1lb 2oz strong plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh yeast
325ml/11fl oz lukewarm water
For the topping
300g canned plum tomatoes or passata Rustica
Generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30g/1oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Several fresh basil leaves
Fresh oregano or thyme leaves (dried would also work)
140g/5oz buffalo mozzarella diced into small chunks
The best extra virgin olive oil you can lay your hands-on
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and gradually add this to the flour and salt. Mix well first with a spoon then by hand until you have a soft springy dough. If you find the dough too sticky, simply add a little more flour.
Shape the dough into a ball and leave to rest covered by a cloth for 15-20 minutes. The dough should now be easier to work with, divide into two pieces and knead each piece for a couple of minutes each and form into balls.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean wooden board and place the dough on top then cover with a damp cloth. Leave the pizza dough balls to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250C/500F/Gas 9.
In the meantime, place the tomatoes in a bowl and squash them slightly, add a good pinch of sea salt and pepper and combine.
To make the bases, sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface (a large wooden board is perfect) and gently flatten with a rolling pin until the dough balls are flat and round.
Sprinkle some dried polenta onto two large flat baking sheets and gently place the two pizza bases on them. Now spread a little of the tomato evenly over each base – do not overdo the tomato mix, as you do not want a soggy pizza. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, add some basil leaves or fresh oregano (or both) and top-off with pieces of mozzarella cheese.
Place in the oven for approximately 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with some more olive oil and eat straight away.