Updated: Apr 25
Paternopoli isn’t just known for the production of amazing Taurasi wines, it’s pretty equally famous in these parts for the particular type of broccoli that is grown in the area, “broccolo aprilatico.” The name comes from the fact that this broccoli is only available in the month of April - hence Aprilatico.
We first learned about this delicacy from Macelleria Mario Carrabs, and we can't get enough. It helps that Broccolo Aprilatico pairs perfectly with just about any Irpinia wine you can think of from Rosato to Greco di Tufo, Coda di Volpe and Fiano di Avellino, to Irpinia Aglianicos and Taurasis alike. Check out the recipe below and try for yourself!
You’ll find broccoli growing spontaneously all over Irpinia: in the vineyards, on the side of the road, in fields, in gardens, and oooh is it good. We’d call it broccolini in the USA and you’ll know it by the bright yellow flowers you see everywhere in Irpinia during spring. But the Broccolo Aprilatico is special to Paternopoli. This type of broccoli is recognized by the government as a DOP product and is celebrated by the Slow Food organization as well. This special broccoli is made into everything and anything you can think of during the month of April when it's available during its short season: spreads, it’s jared, it’s sold fresh, it’s put on pizza and used in pasta. In fact, Broccolo Aprilatico is so special, Chef Valentina Martone from Megaron Restaurant in Paternopoli has a day dedicated to the celebration of the broccoli the area is so famous for every year. Journalists, winemakers, chefs, and other dignitaries all gather together to celebrate this vegetable with each dish containing the revered vegetable. Including the dessert, which is always delicious. Think the most delicious chocolate cake with a secret ingredient...you guessed it, broccoli aprilatico!!!
Typing this, it’s easy to see how nearly incomprehensible this extreme dedication to food would be to most people in the USA, but that’s the difference here not just in Southern Italy, but in Irpinia in particular. It’s the emphasis on quality and traditions above all else that makes this region so amazing. Whether it’s wine or food, you know you’re in for something amazing at every turn here among the mountains of Southern Italy.
The Authentic Irpinia Recipe: Fusilli Aprilatico, Chef Valentina Martone, Megaron
Ingredients: 1 lb Fusilli Pasta 2 lb Broccolo Aprilatico (broccolini can serve as a substitute) Ravece Olive Oil Dried Tomatoes to Taste Preparation:
Boil the broccoli in salted water for 2 minutes Remove and drain hot water before returning the broccoli into an ice bath. Once the broccoli is cooled, make a pesto with the broccoli by adding Ravece Olive and blending the two ingredients. Take the pesto and put into a pan with more olive oil and dried tomatoes and heat over a low temperature. Cook the pasta al dente (DO NOT OVER COOK!!). Drain pasta and add to the pan with your Broccoli Aprilatico Pesto. Stir until coated, plate, and you’re ready to eat! Wine Pairing Recommendation: La Cantina di Enza, Natarosa, Rosato &
Cantina del Barone, Particella 928 Fiano di Avellino, 2018
Call Schneider's of Capitol Hill to order! (202-543-9300)
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