Recipes & Pairings

With their crisp acidity and fresh fruit flavors, Sicily’s wines are versatile when it comes to food pairing. In general, white wines are better with lighter-bodied foods and fresh cheeses, while reds pair naturally with richer dishes. That said, white wine lovers can rely on Grillo to complement the entire meal, from pasta to grilled white meats and goat cheese. And the go-to for red-wine lovers is Nero d’Avola, which matches with everything from antipasti to grilled meats.

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  • Arancini

Arancini

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A classic Sicilian appetizer that pairs well with a juicy Nero d’Avola.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions:

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic and soften for 3-5 minutes. Add the rice, and cook stirring for 2 minutes, then stir in the wine, and continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has evaporated. Add hot chicken stock to the rice 1/3 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the liquid has evaporated before adding more.

When rice has cooked and liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes total then season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the risotto to a bowl, and allow to cool slightly.

Stir the beaten egg into the risotto. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and milk with a fork. For each ball, roll 2 tablespoons of the risotto into a ball. Press a piece of the mozzarella cheese into the center, and roll to enclose. Coat lightly with flour, dip into the milk mixture, then roll in bread crumbs to coat.

Heat oil for frying in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry the balls in small batches until evenly golden, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven while the rest are frying.

This refreshing noodle salad has a nice balance of heat from serrano peppers and sweet from fresh papaya—a perfect match for a glass of Grillo, loaded with tropical fruit notes. Makes 18 servings.