October Wine Club pairing recipe

This wine loves Italian food, what can we say? Homemade pizza with mozzarella and salsiccia, or a plate of pasta piled high with meat sauce. Dark cherry, blackberry and plum aromas abound tempered with chocolate, spices and Tuscan herbs, Nesios Toscana, has the elegance of Sangiovese with the force of Cabernet and demands to be enjoyed with food like this classic lasagna.

go to lasagna dishClassic Lasagna Dish

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (sweet or hot), casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz. can whole, crushed tomatoes

ASSEMBLY INGREDIENTS:

  • Kosher salt
  • 5 lbs. fresh mozzarella, grates or shredded
  • 16 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. dried lasagna noodles (avoid the no-boil variety)
  • Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the sauce: Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes until brown but not crisp.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for eight to ten minutes until the onion is softened and translucent.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir for two minutes until it’s turned deep, brick red, tinting the oil and onions.
  4. Using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes into bite-size pieces and add them and the crushed tomatoes, stirring to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pot. Fill one of the tomato cans halfway with water and add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper then let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors come together.
  5. Make the lasagna: Heat the oven to 375°F and set a large pot of salted water to boil.
  6. Set aside one 1 cup of mozzarella. In a medium bowl, combine remaining mozzarella, ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan and cream. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Cook lasagna noodles in the large pot of salted boiling water before they’re al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain and separate any noodles that are sticking together, add a little olive oil to prevent further sticking.
  8. Spoon a bit of sauce on the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish and top with a layer of noodles, avoiding heavy overlap.
  9. Top with 1 ¼ cups of sauce then dollop ¼ of the cheese mixture on top. Top with another layer of noodles and repeat three times, ending with the last of the noodles and last of the sauce. Top with your reserved 1 cup of mozzarella and more Parmesan.
  10. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake until pasta is completely tender and cooked through and sauce is bubbling around the edges, typically 30-40 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and increase temperature to 450°F. Continue to bake for another final 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Nesios Tuscany wine bottleBold wine Style logoCorte de Medicea
Nesios
Toscana Rosso IGT
Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is home to Italy’s most famous IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) category. Sangiovese is the all-star of Tuscany, that derives its name from Latin as ‘the blood of Jupiter (Jove)’, the most widely planted grape in Italy. The hot, dry climate in Tuscany provides an excellent home for this thin-skinned grape, producing a rich and long-standing wine. It’s known for being fruity and naturally acidic and best enjoyed with the excellent cuisine of Italy.

During the 1970s, the term ‘Super Tuscan’ emerged, as result of frustrations of winemakers towards the slow-changing wine laws in Italy which prohibited the blending of non-indigenous grapes. In 1992, IGT was finally created, allowing winemakers to be more creative. An IGT Toscana guarantees that at least 85% of the fruit was sourced from the region. Half Sangiovese and Cabernet, this Super Tuscan pairs well with Italian food, fresh cheese, grilled cheese and pizza.

Andrea Bernardini“Deep ruby red in color. Spices, chocolate blended with blackberry, plums and mature cherry on the nose. Full-bodied and harmonic, structured with enticing and velvet softness. Elegant finish.” – Andrea Bernardi, winemaker

Winemaker: Andrea Bernardini
Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
Varietal Blend:  50% Sangiovese, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: 96 pts The Best Italian Wines, Luca Maroni 2017/2018

Marco Barbanera, Super Tuscan wine and pasta pairing

Pasta Bolognese

INGREDIENTS:pasta-bolognese-wine-pairing

• 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 ounces pancetta or 6 slices bacon, finely chopped
• 1/4 pound ground pork (not lean)
• 1/4 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)
• 1/4 pound ground veal
• 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound small pasta such as orecchiette or rotini
• Garnish: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

DIRECTIONS:

If using whole tomatoes, in blender or food processor, purée tomatoes with juice. Set aside.  In large, heavy pot over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add pancetta and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beef, pork, and veal and sauté, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add onion and carrot and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in red wine and simmer, scraping up browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and brick-red in color, approximately 30 minutes. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until almost tender. Drain well and toss with sauce. Serve with grated cheese. Yields 6 servings. Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com, Chef Joseph W. DiPerri, The Culinary Institute of America.

mellowBarbanera_Rosso Toscana SuperTuscanMarco Barbanera
Rosso Toscana IGT
Super Tuscan
Tuscany, Italy

Marco Barbanera’s winery is a supreme example of how traditional methods of winemaking have benefited from the careful introduction of modern techniques.  The experience and knowledge of many generations enable the Barbanera family to select the right vine for a particular vineyard with its particular microclimate.MARCO-BARBANERA-winemaker-Blog The work in the cellar demands a special degree of sensitivity and attention to detail. “It’s like composing a painting”, according to Marco Barbanera, “when it’s almost complete, with a last decisive brush stroke you can transform it into a masterpiece”. Pairs well with grilled or roasted red meat and spicy chicken dishes.

Winemaker: Marco Barbanera
Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
Varietal Blend:  Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13% alc/vol