Robust wines stand up to truffled pasta dish from Umbria

This is one rich and hearty dish, and it calls for a wine that can stand up to its boldness but also get out of the way of its intense flavors. Try any of these reds — a pinot nero from Slovenia, a sangiovese from Italy or, for something a little more robust, a tempranillo blend from Spain.




Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled. Cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes; transfer to platter. Add 1 red onion, chopped; cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup chicken broth; cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon truffle paste and 1 cup cream. Lower heat; cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Return meat to skillet; season with salt. Toss with 1 pound cooked strangozzi pasta. Makes: 8 servings

Recipe by Carol Mighton Haddix


Pairings by sommelier Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia, as told to Michael Austin:

 2011 Movia Modri Pinot Nero, Goriska Brda, Slovenia: This pinot noir was aged in oak and then in bottle prior to release, offering aromas of black cherry, macerated red plums, smoke and a touch of licorice. The smoky element will intertwine well with the truffle sauce, while the natural acidity will cut through the rich cream.

2011 Poderi Sanguineto, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy: From old vines tended in a non-interventionist way, this is a balanced wine, with notes of dried strawberry, raspberry, dried herbs and smoked meats. The sangiovese grape variety, with its natural acidity and tannin, will pair well with the sausage and cream while allowing the truffle aromas to shine.

 2013 Bodegas Alvear Alange, Ribera del Guadiana, Spain: This tempranillo-based blend explodes in the glass with aromas of black currant, sage, leather, damp dark earth and campfire. More robust than the previous two wines, this one will stand up well to the fat of the cream and sausage while also mirroring the intensity of the truffles.

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