Buttery pasta for versatile Bricoleur bubbly

Sparkling wine goes with so many dishes, but for something decadent, pair it with an inexpensive caviar.|

Our wine of the week, Bricoleur, NV Isla Rose, Brut Rosé, Sonoma County ($60), is an effervescent delight. It’s bright and pretty on the palate, with hints of lemon, orange flower, strawberry, rose water and cherry, qualities that rise above a foundation of minerality, like wet concrete warmed by the morning sun.

The mousse — i.e., bubbles — is tight and concentrated, leaving you longing for your next sip. This sparkler can hold its own alongside the best Champagnes, cavas and sparkling wines on the planet.

Although not everyone agrees, I find dry sparkling wine an excellent partner with almost anything, from an appetizer of marcona almonds and olives or chips and salsa to a main course of spaghetti carbonara or a grilled rib-eye with chimichurri. A favorite pairing is french fries with aioli.

Many of us reserve sparkling wine for special occasions, though I think it is an excellent choice at any time. I enjoy how it adds a bit of merriment to an average day.

For today’s recipe, I’ve chosen a dish that appeared, in a slightly different form, in my first book, “A Cook’s Tour of Sonoma” (Aris Books, 1990). Caviar is also something we typically reserve for a special occasion, and certainly the more expensive caviars warrant restraint. But American golden caviar is inexpensive, about $13 an ounce, and delicious. You can find it at local markets such as Pacific and Oliver’s.

Spaghettini with Golden Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Makes 2 servings

Kosher salt

4 - 5 ounces dry spaghettini (thin spaghetti)

2 tablespoons butter, preferably European-style, at room temperature

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

1 lemon

1 ounce American golden caviar

1 tablespoon snipped chives

Fill a medium saucepan about ⅔ full of water, add a generous tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the pasta and stir gently until the water returns to a boil. Cook according to package directions until just done. Drain, do not rinse and tip into a wide shallow bowl.

Add the butter and gently lift the pasta, using 2 forks, over and over until the butter is melted. Add the crème fraîche and toss again.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze juice from 1 half over the pasta. Divide between 2 warmed pasta plates or pasta bowls. Use a fork to turn the pasta into a neat little mound.

Cut the remaining half lemon in half.

Divide the caviar between the 2 portions, setting it directly on top of the pasta. Sprinkle with chives and enjoy right away.

Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at michele@micheleannajordan.com.

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