I am often asked how I find the recipes that I use for our clubs. The fact is I do not typically build a recipe from scratch, preferring to let the professionals do the heavy lifting then tailor them to my needs. For that reason I subscribe to a bunch of food publications including all of the America’s Test Kitchen publications, Milk Street, the New York Times food section, email newsletters and of course I follow many blogs. In addition I have an extensive cookbook collection that covers many varied themes and cuisines as well.
With so much inspiration it is easy to find recipes that work with the wines I select, but not every time. This month I work backwards and focus on two recipes that I loved actively seeking wines to pair with them. I did this because I really liked the recipes but felt that my initial wines I chose to pair them with did not work as well as I hoped. I love these pairings and think you will too.
The first recipe is a meatless pasta dish that builds an incredible amount of umami, creating richness that is so impressive you do not miss the meat. For those unfamiliar with the term umami, it is a family of compounds that give the perception of richness in food. This recipe uses roasted veggies and mushrooms, all builders of umami, to create a fantastic pairing with a Pecorino wine from the eastern coast of Italy.
My second pick has become something of a Varan family favorite, and Italian take on ribs that combine all my favorite flavors. This version is baked in the oven but if you feel inspired to cook them low and low on the grill then do so. I selected a fantastic St. Emilion to pair with them. Not an Italian wine? No, but wait until you see how the faintly herbal quality of the Bordeaux pulls out the rub on the ribs.
I hope you enjoy this experiment and give these combinations a try. Neither recipe is hard and the results are definitely worth it!Download Full Club Write-up