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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Capicola-Prosciutto-Herbed Ricotta Pizzettes and 2019 Cipressi Barbera Nizza DOCG

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

My wine collaborators at Kobrand Wine & Spirits have given me a tremendous opportunity this year to further explore amazing wines and varietals from Italy.

Recently, I was able to try an amazing Barbera wine from the northern Piedmont region of Italy. More specifically, via a sensational winery/wine grower called Michele Chiarlo.

(Photo courtesy Kobrand Wine & Spirits)

Kobrand shared with me that since 1956, Michele Chiarlo has been vinifying the essence of Piedmont, loving and developing the most incredible wine region in the world.

There are 110 hectares of vineyards between Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi. These crus respect both ecological criteria & the expression of the terroir.

(Photo courtesy Michele Chiarlo)

Michele Chiarlo has not abandoned his philosophy. Rigorous selection of the best grapes from only the most reputable growers in the most favored vineyard areas and longer aging in oak and then in bottle prior to release were measures he adopted before the DOC laws.

Michele Chiarlo is also credited with being one of the first producers to introduce malolactic fermentation to Italy, thereby achieving wines of greater stability, lower acidity and easier accessibility in their youth.

Indeed! The 2019 Barbera I tried and feature in this food and wine pairing positing is exactly that, a readily accessible wine that beautifully boasts balanced flavor, structure and aromas that make you want to have more.

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Capicola-Prosciutto-Herbed Ricotta Pizzettes.

Wine pairing: 2019 Cipressi Barbera Nizza DOCG - Michele Chiarlo (Piedmont, Italy)

Serves: 2 (as a meal) or 4 (as appetizers)


  • Pepperidge Farm puff pastry frozen sheets pastry dough

Ricotta cheese filling:

  • 6 tablespoons ricotta cheese

  • 1/3 cup grana padano

  • 2 tablespoons evoo

  • 1/4 cup basil, hand shredded

  • 1 tablespoon frsh sage finely chopped

  • 3 large thin slices of prosciutto, cut in small squares, set aside cut pieces from one of the slices

  • 6 round thin slices of capicola, cut in small pieces, set aside cut pieces from one of the slices

  • Cracked pepper (to taste)

Tomato topping:

  • 2 tablespoons evoo

  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup of sliced grape tomatoes

  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper

Extra Virgin olive oil for additional drizzling.


  • Defrost puff pastry sheet.

  • Once the puff pastry is defrosted preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • On a clean, non-stick surface, stretch the puff pastry into a large square. Then cut pastry into squares (3.5 inches by 3.5 inches).

  • In a small bowl, mix tomatoes, olive oil, fresh sage and cracked pepper. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, grana padano cheese, extra Virgin olive oil, fresh basil, fresh sage, cut prosciutto and capicola. Add cracked pepper to taste and mix again.

  • Lightly drizzle some extra Virgin olive oil on top of the pastry squares. Next, place a few pieces of cut prosciutto on top of each square. Then, add a few spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese mixture on each square. Carefully bring all four corners of the pastry square towards the center to create a nest.

  • Insert apiece or two of cut capicola in the center of the pastry nest and top with some of the tomato mixture.

  • Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until puff pastry is flaky and lightly golden brown.

Serve it up!

The aroma itself from the oven will make you want to eat these pizzettes as is…and well, that’s basically how you’re supposed to eat them. As is.

You can easily place all of the pizzettes on a serving platter and garnish by sprinkling a little extra grana padano and maybe some oregano.

Buon appetito! Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine… Cipressi gets its name from the cipressi or cypress trees atop one of the hillsides of the estate.

The Barbera grapes are from the well-exposed vineyards from the famed La Court estate.

The soil is called astiane (meaning of Asti) sands and consists of calcareous-clay marl of sedimentary marine origin with a good presence of lime and sand and rich in microelements, particularly magnesium.

Following fermentation, the wine is aged for one year in large oak casks before refinement in the barrel.

Nizza was previously part of the Barbera d’Asti DOCG but was elevated to its own DOCG in 2014.

2019 Cipressi Barbera Nizza DOCG - Michele Chiarlo (Piedmont, Italy)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Harvest notes:

The 2019 vintage began with heavy rain and moderate snowfall the previous winter, with some snow in February that together accumulated an excellent water reserve.

The classic spring weather was followed by hot and dry months of May and June.

Abundant rainfall at the beginning of July allowed for an ideal and balanced ripening during the hot and dry summer season.

The result was a vintage with a lesser number of grapes but characterized by outstanding quality.

This Nizza wine is endowed with great character and a rich bouquet of sweet, varied, and elegant red fruits.

Tasting notes:

A bright ruby red, this wine has notes of raspberries and spices.

It is a full bodied, well-structured, and harmonious wine. The finish is savory and long.


100% Barbera

Food pairing: Cured meats, pasta with meat sauce, steak, risotto.

Thank you to Kobrand Wine & Spirits For providing this unique wine from Italy’s Piedmont region. Grazie!

For more information, visit:

For finding and purchasing this wine, check out Kobrand Wine & Spirits’ retail locator from

Just click on the link and enter your zip code and local stores and restaurants that feature these wines will show up!


Decorative wine drip collar ring provided by:

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo: Mario La Pergola)

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