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Pumpkin Sage Alfredo with Scallops and Matanè Primitivo #ItalianFWT

This month for #ItalianFWT we are looking at Primitivo wines, what Gwendolyn Alley from Wine Predator says is the Godfather of Zinfandel in her invitation post this month. For me, this was all new learning, as I hadn't tried this wine before.  I love learning from my colleagues!

Please do check out the invitation post.  There is so much great information there, and it comes from a member of the 2019 Wine Tasting Team.  She digs deep and gives you all kinds of interesting information about this wine.  Here's what stood out for me:

*So how are these grapes the same — and different? Wikipedia conflates the two and even redirects Primitivo to Zinfandel, and states that DNA analysis of this black-skinned grape shows “it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grapes Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag, as well as to the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Apulia (the “heel” of Italy), where it was introduced in the 18th century. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, where it became known by variations of a name applied to a different grape, likely “Zierfandler” from Austria.”

*In 1967, UC Davis professor Austin Goheenis visited Italy where Primitivo reminded him of Zinfandel. In 1968, Primitivo came to California, and in 1972, ampelographers found it identical to Zinfandel. Wine made in California from the Italian Primitivo grapes in 1975 seemed identical to Zinfandel, and indeed, Ph.D. student Wade Wolfe saw the same isozyme fingerprints.

Why did this stand out?  Because we learn that the grapes are essentially the same. As a someone who loves the drink of wine, I am unable to tell the difference, but to someone who understands the nature of wine, this must be a fascinating topic!

I am going to share with you the bottle my husband and I decided to purchase.  We found this $13 bottle of Primitivo at Total Wines.  We have been fortunate to find many wines from around the world here and when my local wine shop doesn't have what I need, I tend to get online and see if there is anything there.

We found this: Matane Primivito 2018 for $13 a bottle.  Tasting brought out tobacco, ripe plum, toast, and sage were found on the nose.  In the mouth, full-bodied with black cherry, mature blackberries, and black pepper.  Tannins were smooth and velvety.  The red soil, bright sunlight, windswept landscape, and salty air create this win from the ancient grape. The color is gorgeous, a deep ruby red, with intense fruity notes.  We loved it and will buy it again.

Matane was formed when Neil and Maria Empson and their daughter, Tara tasted the wines of Filippo Baccalaro on a family trip.  Matane (the combination of MAria, TAra, and NEil) began to form with a joint venture between the Empsons and Filippo and the results are these fine Primivitos.

Pairing this red with scallops was a stretch even for my husband.  However, the pumpkin alfredo sauce stood up beautifully and accented the scallops with their seasonings of pepper and coarse salt.  The wine's herbs were perfect with the fried sage, giving the crisp leaves balance on the tongue.  I urge you to give this dish a try and bring along this wine for the ride.

Yield: 4
Author: Terri Steffes
Pumpkin Sage Alfredo with Scallops

Pumpkin Sage Alfredo with Scallops

A fancy dinner using convenience foods!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 10 Mininactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 55 Min


  • 1 10 oz container Aldi Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 12 oz package frozen scallops
  • 8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 bunch of sage leaves
  • 4 T butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese


  1. Thaw scallops by running them underwater.  This takes about 30 minutes.
  2. Cook pasta to package directions drains except for 1/2 c water, reserve the water. Add in pumpkin alfredo and the water to pasta. Stir.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  4. Add 8 sage leaves and fry until deep green and crispy.  Drain on paper towels.
  5. Add scallops to the butter.  Salt and pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Turn scallops and cook 1 minute.
  7. Serve pasta on a plate.  Top with scallops, parmesan cheese, and fried sage leaves.




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Created using The Recipes Generator
Stay tuned for our December selection, Italian Sparkling wines.  It will be hosted by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  I know it will be a fun time! 

Would you like to comment?

  1. This looks like Fall on a plate, Terri! And I'm glad you found a bottle to join the Primitivo fun. Cheers.

  2. Oh my goodness this sounds absolutely wonderful. I could just imagine tucking into it for dinner tonight.

  3. This sounds utterly amazing. I love the combination of the sage and pumpkin here. That's just a perfect pairing.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I've never had scallops, and for some reason I thought they looked like shrimp to me LOL THis pasta dish was something I just saw on Pinterest and saved it to try soon.

  6. Nikki Wayne11:43 PM

    I really liked how you served it. Looks so delicious... ��

  7. This sounds amazing! I love scallops and haven't had them in ages. Seafood and pasta are the perfect combo.

  8. Your scallop dish looks delicious! The wine sounds interesting too.

  9. Loving that pumpkin alfredo sauce and scallops are always a hit in this household.

  10. I honed right in on your dish Terri and look forward to trying it. Will you be buying more Primitivo to try?!?

  11. Yum. That is about as good as it gets. Wonderful cook.

  12. Always a treat to see fish paired with red wine. I've never tried pumpkin alfredo sauce. Sounds delish!

  13. How nice that you found a bottle of Primitivo to enjoy. I love this dish..I have never been to an Aldi's, but I might need to find one so I can try this sauce.

  14. natalia voche9:54 PM

    This is the first time that I heard this recipe and looks so yummy! I can't wait to try this

  15. Kita Bryant11:55 PM

    My husband would love this. He grew up eating scallops.

  16. This looks delicious I agree with you this excellent date night dinner recipe.


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