Because I am such a wine nerd I love to try new recipes that will pair perfectly with specific wines. Last week my sister made Sausage, Chicken, and Gemelli Pasta with Pan Sauce that I chose to pair for the family with a Santa Christina Chianti. This Italian wine and pasta pairing could not have been any more perfect. When starting this blog t a goal of mine was to find new, delicious wines at a reasonable price for you. So, with this in mind, I tried to find an Italian wine that was readily available in most grocery stores.
Italian wine and Pasta Pairing
What you will need:
2 Chicken Breasts
3 uncooked Italian Sausages
6 oz fresh spinach (washed and trimmed)
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
5 oz Julienne Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 package of gemelli pasta noodles
fresh parmesan cheese (to garnish)
red pepper flakes (optional)
garlic salt and pepper to taste
Lets get started
1. Cook noodles then drain saving 2 cups of the starchy noodle water
2. Rub chicken with garlic salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add a little olive oil to a large pan and cook your chicken and sausage through (cover with lid). Rotate meat every couple of minutes to ensure you do not burn the meats (the sausage will be especially easy to burn if not careful).
3. Remove meat from pan BUT KEEP THE REMAINING JUICE AND LIQUIDS IN THE PAN.
4. Bring another pan up to high heat, add a splash more olive oil, and immediately add the red onion. Add a bit more garlic salt and pepper to the pan. While the onion is cooking, slice the chicken and sausage. Let the onion get a little crispy because the burnt sugars on the bottom of the pan will add to the sauce you are slowly making.
5. Once the onions are all cooked add half of the saved noodle water. Once you pour the water in the pan will sizzle so have a wooden spoon near by to scrape the flavor pieces off the bottom of the pan. Just trust me here…we are making the yummy sauce!
6. Turn heat down, add chicken, sausage, and spinach. It will take a minute or two for the spinach to start to wilt. Once they begin, add the noodles, sun dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.
7. Top with a little parmesan cheese and VOILA…
The Wine Pairing
For this Italian wine and pasta pairing I went through about ten Italian wine options until I found just the wine. The Santa Cristina 2014 Chianti Superiore is very interesting on the nose. It has bold aromas of cherry, plum, and some spices. To me it smelled more like a classic California Cabernet Sauvignon. I was rather surprised by the boldness of it. On the palate I got the cherry and plum notes with a beautiful, long finish. Again, I was surprised by the taste of this wine. It was bigger and bolder than I find a typical Italian Chianti. Another bonus? You can find it at your local grocery store!
Try out this Italian wine and pasta pairing and let me know what you think.