You may know Paul Sorvino from his roles in Goodfellas and Law & Order or Dee Dee Sorvino from her Emmy-award winning television work. What you may not know is that they can cook up a storm. You’ll know it too after reading their new cookbook.
A Different Type Of Leading Role
Italian American actor Paul Sorvino has a career that has spanned more than 200 roles and four decades. His current role is tasty indeed, as cookbook author with wife Dee Dee, herself an Emmy Award winner as a television personality.
Honestly, they had us at the title: Pinot, Pasta, and Parties. All three elements certainly resonate with the editorial core of Vino-Sphere.
The book shares 80 authentic Italian recipes sprinkled with insightful stores from their life. The book is packed with appealing photographs and there is an emphasis on entertaining, not just cooking. Each recipe also has suggested cocktails.
Pinot, Pasta, and Parties is published by Center Street/Hachette Book Group. It has a list price of $30 and is widely available, including on Amazon.
In order to put it to the test, we cooked a six-course meal using recipes from the book, threw a party and opened an ample number of fine wines. The results were delicious.
We kicked off the evening with our lone Italian wine of the evening: the 2014 Trappolinia Est! Est! Est! di Montefiascone DOC. This wine gained renown, it is said, when a German bishop on his way to Rome was sidetracked when he discovered this delicious wine. In fact, he decided to make Montefiascone his home and never made it to Rome.
The Est! Est! Est!, a Trebbiano-Malvasia blend, was paired with our first Sorvino recipe – Stuffed Artichokes. Glorious T whipped up this appetizer. She and the Cabernetor were guests of honor at our wine dinner.
This was the perfecting opening act. We continued to explore white wine with our next dish: Panzanella. Green Dragon was the chef for the remaining dishes aided immeasurably by our fried Maria. Maria’s Italian heritage helped keep everything authentic.
Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad. This was a light an refreshing start to the meal. This was paired with wine from one of our favorite Finger Lakes producers: Hermann J. Weimer. The Weimer 2013 Reserve Dry Riesling was a refreshing accent and a great match with the difficult-to-pair salad course.
We then transitioned into our fish course: Shrimp Scampi. This dish featured a bit of spice and so was a fitting accompaniment to the Riesling.
Parade of Pinot
The title of the book is Pinot, Pasta, and Parties and so we didn’t want to fall short in that category. We rolled out two premier Pinot Noir wines with our Spaghetti Carbanara.
The dish was scrumptious with the cheese, bacon and olive oil meshing into a heart-melting joy. Be sure to flag this recipe in the book for an easy-to-make crowd pleaser. For our first Pinot we uncorked the 2004 Domaine Meo-Camuzet Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits. Cote de Nuit is one of the most famous grand cru vineyards in Burgundy. Brick red in the glass, it is light in body on the palate. The tannins are fully integrated into an earthy elixir of smoke and strawberry flavors. This has a smooth elegance of silk.
I opted to go second with the 2014 Argot “Bastard Tongue” Pinot Noir, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, expecting the New World Pinot to be more robust than the Burgundy. This was a parting gift from a friend and president at my last organization. He described the BT Pinot as “unreal.” Indeed it is!
Made by winemaker Justin Harmon at his custom crushpad, it is loaded with what he terms “pinotosity.” For us this meant concentrated strawberry flavors mingled with complex earthy flavors. It is plush and bursting with ripe fruit. It has a medium body and sent our dinner guests into the stratosphere.
Our culinary centerpiece of the evening was the braciole (bra-SHOLE). This is tenderized beef wrapped and stuffed with a delicious filling of pine nuts, prosciutto, mozzarella and bread crumbs. The braciole is tied into “loafs” and then sliced into a very eye-appealing display.
We paired ours with a 2008 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. This a full-bodied Cab with richness and depth. The oak is subtle with blueberry and black cherry flavors.
Yes, I Can Cook!
For this dish, I chased my wife out of the kitchen and prepared it myself (with the help of Dee Dee and Paul!). The dessert course was Chocolate Coffee Mousse paired with a special treat: Peller Estates Cabernet Franc Icewine from Niagara Peninsula VQA in Ontario. Served chilled in small glasses it was the perfect sipping companion for the masterfully prepared (in my opinion) dessert!
Cheers to Dee and Paul for their delicious recipes and also to our cooks and guests for our wine dinner. We hope there is a sequel in the future!