PASTA WITH FAVAS AND BASIL
After a long day of research I was back in the small, comfortable apartment I'd rented on the Il Colle farm near Trequanda,
a village in the heart of Tuscany. In the back seat of the car were the spoils of the day: a generous bag of fresh favas
and bunches of aromatic basil, gifts from the farmers I'd been to visit. I already had a bottle of olive oil from Il Colle
and a bag of good hard-wheat pasta, so my dinner menu was set. I made and ate this pasta sitting on the small terrace
outside my door that overlooked the village.
The rolling landscape was sculpted in hues of every imaginable green—dusty from the olive trees, kelly from the wheat,
forest from the trees, emerald from the wild grasses. I thought as I ate if you grow up in this part of Tuscany where can you
go to see anything more beautiful?
I sipped the 1995 Il Colle Chianti produced on the farm and found it surprisingly gutsy and good. Everyone I'd talked to
sniffed at 1994, considering it a poor wine year but the more I learned, the more I realized that the Chianti region is
full of microclimates.
What is a bad year in one vineyard can be excellent in another. Thus categorizing any year as bad for all Chianti is
shortsighted. Chiantis must be judged individually, as should most wines.
When you find a Chianti you like, make this dish to serve along with it. You are sure to be satisfied.