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Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

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: 5/5 (Yeah, yeah, they’re all just wonderful, aren’t they?)

Spaghetti squash tossed in grape seed oil, topped with lentils, tomatoes, and spinach.

Wine: Birichino Malvasia Bianca 2010

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Notes:  So what makes this near-vegan? I cooked the lentils in some delicious broth made from the Thanksgiving turkey (sorry!).  Technically, this was also a gluten-free meal too, so there you go health trend people and celiac sufferers.  Feast away.  For the uninitiated, spaghetti squash is an actual squash that when cooked can be stripped with a fork to create strands that look like spaghetti.  I’d take it over store-bought spaghetti noodles any day.  What this dish was lacking was a fresh bit of citrus and a dose of floral.  Fortunately, the wine brought those to the party with its supple body, perfect alcohol content for food (13%!), and fortunate dry finish in tow.  This wine would most likely be beautiful with any squash based dish and for those who still need to bite into a dead animal at every meal this one works with some sausage (spicy or not) right on top.

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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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