Springtime Sunday Dinner – Roast Lamb

Food: A boneless leg of lamb, stuffed generously with fresh oregano, rosemary, and garlic…how perfect for a Springtime Sunday!  Served with roasted red potatoes with rosemary and peas seasoned with mint.

A word about lamb … one often sees frozen leg of lamb sold in supermarkets and it’s usually identified as being from New Zealand. This is almost always grass-fed lamb which tends to have a stronger lamb flavor. The fresh lamb typically sold in most markets is U.S. raised and is most often grass-fed but finished off with grain. This is usually a milder tasting lamb. If you are fortunate enough to have access to locally raised lamb, this is usually grass-fed.

Roast lamb w: Bordeaux

Wine: 2009 Chateau Jean Faux Sainte-Radegonde Grand Vin de Bordeaux. One of the truly great wine and food pairings is red bordeaux wine and roasted lamb. Unfortunately, bordeaux wine is often on of the most expensive wines in the world. At $20 a bottle, this Chateau Jean Faux is one of the most affordable and delicious bordeaux that I have found. The winery is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Bordeaux wine region about half way between the city of Bordeaux and the town of Bergerac. Sainte-Radegonde  is situated just beyond the boundary that defines the Saint Emilion AOC, truly one of the most renowned wine regions of Bordeaux. Go to the website below to read about and see pictures of this beautiful area.

The wine is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.

Jean Faux Bordeaux


Tasting:  The nose can best be described as warm (yes, I know, that sounds weird) with a wonderful aroma of black cherries. On the palate, one gets a lovely flavor of “hedgerow jam” (an amalgam of mixed wild berries one might find in a hedgerow), with the most prevalent of the berry tastes being wild cherry. There is an unmistakable flavor of allspice on the long, lingering finish. What a nice wine … by itself or, especially, with the lamb.

Read More:   www.chateaujeanfaux.com

A Source:  www.wine.com


Pasta Carbonara with Roasted Vegetables and 2011 Renato Ratti Barbera d’Alba

Food: Pasta Carbonara with roasted vegetables

The pasta could not be more simple. Chop some bacon and cook it in some olive oil until it begins to curl, but not brown. Add some white wine and cook until evaporated. Boil the pasta. In the serving dish, break 2 eggs and mix with a total of ¾ cup grated Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Then add the cooked bacon. Whisk together and stir in the hot, drained pasta.   Roast vegetables in your favorite way. We used eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, and carrots.

Carbonara pasta, Roasted veg w: Barbera d'Alba

Wine: 2011 Renato Ratti Barbera d’Alba. This wine hails from the Piedmont region of northern Italy in the village of Alba just south of the city of Turin. Located south and east of the Italian Alps, it is an area known for both its breathtaking scenery and its famous, world-class wines — the most notable being barolo and barbaresco, both made from the nebbiolo grape. Barbera, however, is the most widely planted grape in the Piedmont region, accounting for more than 50% of wine production in the DOC.

Renato Ratti Barbera d'Alba

Tasting notes: On the nose, one gets the pleasant scents of plum, black currant and blackberry. On the palate, blackberry jam persists as the most recognizable flavor. A word about fruit flavors in wine — younger wines that have fruit as part of their flavor profile tend to have the tastes of fresh fruits; then, as the wine ages those flavors tend to soften into the tastes of cooked fruit like jam, fruit leather, or even pie. Although this dish is more commonly paired with a white Italian wine like a Pinot Bianco or Pinot Grigio, this Barbera is perfect with the rich taste of the carbonara and the roasted vegetables. The low tannins of the Barbera contribute to the suitability of this pairing.

Read More: http://www.renatoratti.com/pagine/eng/wines/barbera-d-alba-doc.php

A Source:  wine.com

Mussels With Fettuccini, Morels, and Asparagus

Food:  The basic recipe is from Molly O’Neils A Well-Seasoned Appetite.  We have prepared and enjoyed ‘Mussels O’Neil’ for years.  For this version, we added freshly picked wild morels from our “secret location” and asparagus for a real celebration of month of May. The mussels, morels, and asparagus are each cooked separately. While the pasta is cooking, steam the mussels in a little water and white wine (preferably the white wine you have paired with the meal). Cut the asparagus into two-inch pieces and saute in a little butter. When the mussels are done, remove them, reduce the remaining liquid to about a cup and add some cream. When the pasta is done, combine it with the mussels, sauce, morels, and asparagus. Season to taste.

Mussels w: morels, asparagus +

Wine: 2012 Sarno 1860 from Avellino, Italy. Avelino is in the Campania region near Naples. The wine is made primarily from the Fiano di Avelino grape. The Sarno 1860 is considered to be an excellent expression of that grape.

Sarno 1860 Italian white

Tasting notes: The nose carries a lovely scent of honeysuckle and other white flower floral notes. On the palate, one can taste white peach, pear, and a light touch of citrus and minerals. It has a nice lingering finish, and is a good match for this meal complimenting the mussels, morels, and even the asparagus (a notoriously difficult flavor to pair with).

Read more: www.sarno1860.it/

A Source: K & L Wines (online)

Sicilian Shepherds’ Sauce on Tortiglione Pasta

Food: Here is a favorite from Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s wonderful The Italian Country Table. This begins with a thick, hearty marinara sauce, generous with sage, garlic, and hot pepper flakes. [If you aren’s serving a crowd, divide the sauce in half before proceding. Cook 2-3 ounces of pasta per person until it is underdone. Mix the pasta in with some of the sauce and heat for 2-3 minutes, adding more salt and hot pepper as needed. Put the pasta and sauce in your serving dish and top with ricotta cheese. Bake at 425 degrees until hot through. A completed casserole, unbaked, will freeze very well for a quick meal later.Pasta with Sicilian Shepherd's Sauce

Wine: Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva 2009Querceto Chianti Classico

Tasting notes: The nose has faint black berry and vanilla notes, while on the palate black cherry, black berry and earth are tasted. Well-matured tannins make for a smooth taste. The finish goes on and on and on.

read more: http://www.castellodiquerceto.it/pagina.asp?idpadre=2 The site is written in Italian, but Google will translate it for you…..