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Posts Tagged ‘italian’

A ragú based around Tony’s sausage from his market down the street comprised of onions, parsnips, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, a bit of beef broth, dash of pasta water, oregano, and bay leaf.  Served along with the house-made tagliolini that is obviously comprised of flour and eggs, and I add a dash of salt and olive oil.  Oregano and pecorino to top.

Wine: G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo 2015

IMG_8975Notes:  Now that I live in Boston, I’m taking advantage of the major cultural staple of being able to walk into some market owned by an elderly Italian person and wish that they were your grandparent.  For me, Tony’s Market, appropriately owned by a guy named Tony who is between 80 and 150 years old and is still making the sausages, is just down the street.  Anyway, I wanted nothing more than to cook and drink some wine after being up since 3:30am that morning for a major system update for work and this really hit the spot.  A comfort meal at it’s finest with a beautiful wine to boot.  I originally planned to add a little heat in the form of red pepper flakes and either some clove or nutmeg, but I was on a severe lack of sleep so those accidentally got left out.  Next time…

IMG_8970

More food porn.

 

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Awhile back I decided I should finally learn how to make pasta and it turned out so well that I don’t think I’ve bought pasta from the store since then.  I don’t say this to make you jealous of my pasta snobbery.  I do this to encourage you to make your own delicious pasta…and to be jealous of me.  Anyway, to dispell these insane rumors going around that I make up new dishes every night, I’m posting this pairing to show that I really do revisit dishes I’ve already made and try them with different wines.  Of course, it’s rare that I make something the exact same way twice.  That’d just be so boring. This time I herbed up the pasta.  Details below!

Spinach and walnut pesto (no I didn’t hand grind it this time, that’s crazy) with browned ground hot italian sausage over sage and marjoram herbed homemade pasta.  Heirloom tomato chopped and scattered over the top.

Wine: Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo 2012

IMG_3573Notes:

Remember when I had a similar dish with a white and it was fantastic?  Well this red was fantastic with it too.  Please log this into the “More evidence” column as to why there’s no such thing as a perfect pairing.  Now this wine obviously carries a lot more tannins than the white I paired previously, but as long as everything is properly salted with the lemon juice in the pesto, those tannins are reduced to supporting players in the dish and the fruit comes forward in the wine.  Now with red wines you’ll also get the bonus of matching some of the notes of a good char on the oak with the maillard reaction of browned meat.  So is it a different experience than with the white? Yes, of course, but I’ll give you different answers depending on the time of day as to which I prefer at the moment.

 

Fun Italian food fact: The tomato is not native to Italy…or Europe.  It’s native to South America.

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Rating: 4/5

Homemade Ragú sauce over brown rice.  That simple.

Wine: Tygerberg  Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Notes:
Sometimes you just have to throw out all the traditional conventions.  I was doing a test run of a Ragú sauce for a New Year’s event and I had a bottle of South African Sauvignon Blanc sitting around.  Ragú, by the way is a basic style of Italian sauce with tomatoes, herbs, onion, carrots, chopped up beef , a bit of cream to thicken and a dash of vinegar; please don’t think I opened up a jar of the brand name stuff.  The sauce turned out fantastic.  The Sauvignon Blanc also turned out to be pretty fantastic as well.  As an extra bonus, they worked together pretty darn well.  The Sauvignon Blanc was green all over.  Grass, green pepper, green fig and it had a good sized body that with its acidity, went nicely with the texture of the sauce.  The greens in the wine really highlighted the herbs I had used to flavor the sauce.  It also helped that the beef was chopped up into small pieces and cooked to tender perfection.  Would this have worked with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Probably not.  You will not find this pairing ANYWHERE, but it works.  Try it out!

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Rating: 4/5

Lasagna layered with homemade pasta noodles, sauce composed of browned ground turkey in tomatoes, onion, garlic, yellow pepper, basil, rosemary, caraway seeds, and salt/pepper, fresh spinach leaves and a cheese blend of ricotta, asiago and parmesan.

Wine: Tenuta Sant’Antonio “Mont Garbi” Ripasso

Notes:

Valpolicella is generally known for two types of wine.  One is their standard blend of Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara which is a lighter, aromatic wine and generally flies under the radar of enthusiasts.  The other is Amarone, which is made from the same grapes, but the grapes are dried ahead of time and then fermented into a rich and dry wine.  Amarone is the popular kid out of Valpolicella and its price tag generally reflects this.  However, at some point, a very enterprising wine maker decided to take the leftovers from Amarone and blend them with some of the standard blend to create a middle of the road wine which turned out to be pretty good.  They called it Ripasso and it officially got recognized in December 2009 with a DOCG status (which means they could put the word “Ripasso” on a bottle and it would mean something).

Anyway, this paired nicely with the lighter lasagna.  The wine delivers all sorts of red fruits upfront, but has enough structure and spice in the end to make it play wonderfully with the ricotta cheese and the caraway.  Simply Italian.  Enough said.

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