Pairings | Pasta
Which foods pair best with Merlot?
Merlot has one of the widest ranges of styles of any red wine from the light, quaffable merlots of the Veneto to the grandest of Bordeaux. Obviously one type of food doesn’t go with them all but merlot is your flexible friend when it comes to wine pairing, smoother, rounder and less tannic than cabernet sauvignon with which, of course, it is often blended.
Which wine pairs best with salad?
Asking which wine to pair with salad is a bit like asking about what wine to match with meat or fish. There's no single answer. It depends on the vegetables you use, what other ingredients it contains and what type of dressing you use.
Wines to match different pasta sauces
What wine should you pair with your favourite pasta? As you might guess it depends on the sauce rather than the pasta shape.
What's the best wine match for tuna?
If you want a simple guideline as to which wine to pair with tuna think first about the way that it’s cooked - is it rare, seared or preserved (canned or bottled)? Then think of the style of the dish. Does it incorporate Japanese flavours? Are there other ingredients on the plate that might influence the match such as a citrussy glaze or salsa?
The best wine pairings for spaghetti puttanesca
Spaghetti puttanesca - or 'whore’s spaghetti' to translate it literally - is a full-flavoured pasta dish with strong, punchy flavours but which wine should you pair with it?
The best wine pairings for lasagna
When we think of pairing wine with lasagna (or lasagne, whichever way you spell it) it’s probably the meaty version that’s uppermost in our minds but these days, as you know, there are many variations. As with pasta sauces, then, your wine choice should reflect the other ingredients in the dish.
The best food pairings for Chianti and other Tuscan sangiovese
There’s a lot of talk about how the wines of a region tend to match its food but that seems truer of Tuscany than almost anywhere else.
The best wine pairings for feta cheese
With that baked feta and tomato pasta recipe going viral on TikTok, feta is certainly having a moment but what sort of wine do you pair with it?
The best food pairings for Mencia
When I scoured the website for existing pairings with mencia I was amazed how many dishes I’d suggested it with. It really is an incredibly versatile food wine.
What are the best pairings for Provence rosé?
Provence rosé has a particular character. It’s much crisper and drier than most rosés on the market, more like a white wine than a rosé - though within this style there are variations between the lighter, less expensive wines or ‘vins de soif’ and the more structured ones, which the local refer to as ‘vins de gastronomie’.
Top pairings for dry and off-dry Alsace whites
A re-run of an old post following a visit to Alsace, updating my recommendations on the best pairings for the region's dry and off-dry white wines.
The best food pairings for rosé
None of you, I’m sure, can have failed to notice just how many different bottles of rosé are now available on the average supermarket shelf. From being purely a summer wine there are now rosés for almost every type of food and occasion and rosé pairings to match.
Best food pairings with sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc is many people's favourite wine but what type of food pairs with it best?
Pastaiao and the new pasta craze
If you want to open a new restaurant serve pasta. That seems to be the formula for success these days.
Creamy cannellini and fennel pasta
A clever little recipe from Jack Monroe's brilliant new book Cooking on a Bootstrap which would be perfect for a shared student house or anyone on a tight budget.
Spicy tuna pasta and Tuscan red
Some of the best meals - and the best wine pairings - come about without a great deal of forethought. Like the pasta I threw together last week in France from storecupboard ingredients then accompanied with a cracking bottle of inexpensive Tuscan red we’d just bought from a winemaker at a natural wine fair. Yes, Italian wine. In France! Who’d have thought it?
Harak Osbao (lentils and pasta with tamarind, sumac and pomegranate)
This is one of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's contributions to Cook for Syria a brilliant fund-raising book of middle-eastern inspired recipes from top food writers which was conceived and curated last year by instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy*.
Pasta arrabbiata with sangiovese
What happens when you choose a wine to pair with a particular dish and the dish doesn’t materialise? Well, if you’re lucky it matches equally well.
Pasta with Stilton and onion sauce and a new wave Spanish red
When I’m not writing about food and wine matching I’m writing a book - and a blog - about budget eating called The Frugal Cook. So this week’s match is a chance discovery with a scratch supper I knocked up last night (for which you can find the recipe on the blog)
Bardolino Chiaretto and seafood pasta
Yesterday I had lunch with some old friends in a chic little Italian restaurant called Trenta. It’s in in the upwardly mobile neighbourhood just west of Edgware Road in London into which Tony and Cherie Blair have just moved. (It also has a Jimmy Choo shop two doors down. It’s that kind of ‘hood)
Have food hacks become the new recipes?
Barely a day passes without coming across some kind of hack.
Pasta with pesto and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
This past week has reminded me yet again what a great match Italian whites are for food. Their lack of obvious character means they tend not to stand out in a tasting but they explode into life with a dish.
Cavatelli with sausage, mint and tomato
This is one of the deceptively simple recipes in Rachel Roddy's wonderful A-Z of Pasta.
Rigatoni with aubergine (eggplant), sausage and Zinfandel sauce
A really robust pasta dish from my book Cooking with Wine - perfect for cold weather eating. The wine gives a richer, more warming flavour than the usual tomato-based sauce.
Penne with gorgonzola and broccoli and malbec
Now here’s a wine pairing with pasta I didn’t wholly expect. The sauce - a gift from a neighbour - was a creamy gorgonzola one to which I added (just to make it fractionally more healthy ;-)) some steamed broccoli I had left in the fridge. (Well, it was raw but I steamed it!)
Pizza and Valpolicella
With time stretching like an aching chasm from one end of the week to another I've no idea how it’s possible to miss out my regular match of the week post but there you go. (Last week’s should have been chilli con carne and Robert Oatley Shiraz which I can heartily recommend)
How to eat - and drink - like a Tuscan
A re-run of a piece I wrote a few years ago following a trip to Tuscany which reminded me how differently Italians approach food and wine from how we would eat and drink in an Italian restaurant here or at home.
Cappellacci with cime di rapa and alvarinho
OK, I know I wrote about dumplings last week and stuffed pasta isn’t *that* different but if they’re both delicious with wine why not?
Cacio e pepe and Frappato
I’ve never known quite what wine to pair with cacio e pepe, the fashionable pasta dish that’s just based on cheese (usually pecorino) and cracked pepper.
The 10 best wines for spring and early summer drinking
The last two days have been quite, quite beautiful, starting mistily, basking midday in an unseasonally warm sun and finishing with an extended dusk that announces that spring is finally here. I immediately want to eat lighter meals: the new season’s vegetables are not quite in yet but I can at least plan for summer and that means a spring clean of the cellar, pushing the full bodied reds to the back and assessing what whites, lighter reds and rosés I still have lurking in the racks.
Pizzocheri and Valtellina
A slightly obscure pairing this week from the Lombardy region of Italy, the focus for an absolutely brilliant pop-up supper I went to at Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge last Friday.
Prawn tagliolini and Poggio San Polo Rosso di Montalcino
If there’s one thing you might think you could be sure of it would be that you should drink white wine with a seafood pasta dish like this. But, you know what? It was this silkily delicious red that went swimmingly.
Mamma Lucinda’s Pizzoccheri
This recipe, the subject of my Match of the Week, was so delicious I've persuaded Christine Smallwood, whose lovely book An Appetite for Lombardy it comes from, to share it on the site.
Linguine carbonara and English chardonnay
Spaghetti carbonara is one of my favourite pasta recipes so it seemed a brilliant idea to alleviate the boredom of lockdown by having a ‘carbonara night’ with some friends on Zoom.
Fideos negros con calamaritos with alioli and Rueda
I’ve never been a huge fan of Rueda, a sauvignon-style wine from the north of Spain, but seem to have been drinking it non-stop since I arrived in Malaga.
Spaghetti and meatballs and Nerello Mascalese
Spaghetti and meatballs is a really rich pasta dish you need to wash down with a refreshing red - preferably Italian.
Pappardelle with beef shin and Barolo
It’s not often that I choose from a menu based on the wine I’m drinking but then I don’t often drink wines good enough to justify that - in restaurants at least where mark-ups tend to make the best wines unaffordable.
Wine of the week: Cramele Recas ‘Sole’ Shiraz/Feteasca Neagra 2015
Romanian wines may not be on your radar but judging by this incredibly delicious red you should look out for them.
The best food matches for Semillon and Semillon-Sauvignon blends
One of the world’s most underrated grapes yet capable of making some of its most delicious dry whites, Sémillon isn’t on the radar for many. So if you get hold of a bottle what should you pair with it?
Veal ravioli with barolo
This wasn’t the most innovative wine pairing I came across in the last 7 days but it was such a classic I couldn’t fail to make it my match of the week.
Cauliflower tortellini with hazelnuts and 10 year old Muscadet
I agonised over which match to highlight this week - there were so many good ones, especially from my trip to the Jura which I’ll report on in the next couple of days but I’ve gone for this intriguing and off the wall pairing from a seasonal wine dinner at Lido in Bristol on Saturday night.
Spaghetti with courgettes, basil, smoked almonds and Bordeaux rosé
I was sent a really unusual rosé the other day from biodynamic Bordeaux wine estate Chateau le Puy, their 2019 Rose-Marie.