Posts Tagged ‘pesto’

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


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: 5/5

Hand ground pesto over browned turkey sausage, leeks and fresno pepper all on some homemade pasta.

Wine: Cottanera Barbazzale Bianco (Inzolia) 2008


OK, OK…I might be slightly biased since this was the first time I’ve made pasta from scratch and it turned out to be fantastic.  I made them a bit thick because I’ve been craving a thick pasta noodle for at least a year and you can’t buy them in stores and it’s certainly rare to find in a restaurant as well.  The pesto, made with a mortar and pestle was also fantastic.  I’ve been  using walnuts instead of pine nuts and more spinach than basil recently.  Try it.  You’ll love it.

The wine was made from a grape known as Inzolia in Sicily (Ansonica in Tuscany and numerous names in other places).  It carries a bit of nuttiness in addition to being a crisp, dry white which went wonderfully with the pesto.  The finish was expansive. Always a plus.

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