Cacio e pepe literally translates to "cheese and pepper," which are the two main ingredients, plus butter, in this incredibly simple but delicious classic Italian recipe. Wine Spectator recommends a Sangiovese-based red like Chianti to balance the richness of the dish.
Recipes Matching: Sangiovese or Tuscan Reds
Equally suited to a cozy night in or for entertaining company, this Wine Spectator recipe puts a literal twist on a classic baked pasta dish, with a lighter filling and individual serving sizes. Match it up with an Italian red wine, such as Nero d'Avola or Sangiovese.
Cheese artisan Paula Lambert fulfilled Wine Spectator's request for an original, previously unpublished recipe. This dish is as festive and delicious as it is quick and easy to prepare. It incorporates the holy trinity of mozzarella, tomato and basil, the subtle flavors of eggplant and the salty edge from the capers and prosciutto. The cheese, baked, accentuates the dish's summery southern Italian roots. Pair it with a Chianti, other Sangiovese or Italian white wine.
Chef Frank Prisinzano--owner of Frank, Sauce, Supper and Lil' Frankie's in New York—shares a recipe for porcini ravioli with Wine Spectator. The ravioli's soft texture and earthy flavor calls out for a straightforward, easy-drinking Italian red wine with contrasting red fruit and spice flavors.
Chef Sisha Ortúzar, a partner in Riverpark, an elegant venture on Manhattan's east side that's co-owned by Tom Colicchio, shares a duck breast recipe with Wine Spectator. The dish, which is a case study in the thoughtful balance of acidity, sweetness, earthiness, spice and herbal notes, finds its flavors harmonized nicely by Italian red wines with smooth tannins.
Meatballs can be a Sunday-only adventure, simmering an artfully spiced tomato sauce for hours. This Wine Spectator recipe is a bare-bones but satisfying weeknight version, with a fast pan sauce that can be made while the meatballs bake in the oven. Sangiovese from Chianti is a classic wine match.
Sometimes the right way to punch up an old classic, such as pork chops, isn’t with a brand new marinade or spice, but by placing the emphasis on the side dish. Wine Spectator offers a super-simple preparation for pork chops and okra dish made with tomatoes and black olives.
This Wine Spectator recipe for pizza is a classic combo of flavors: spicy sausage, dark green spinach, creamy ricotta cheese and sweet caramelized onion. Cooking it over a grill gives it a bit of char and is fun, but if you’d rather use your oven, you’ll get almost the same result flavor-wise. Plenty of red wines pair well with the pizza, including a Syrah and a Grenache blend, but a Sangiovese from Tuscany stood out.
Chef Quinn and pastry chef Karen Hatfield are the young culinary power couple behind the Los Angeles restaurant Hatfield's. They shared a squab recipe with Wine Spectator with relatively few ingredients, and a couple of spiffy cooking tricks. Sommelier Peter Birmingham recommends a Brunello di Montalcino to match.
It’s easy to get carried away with toppings on a steak sandwich—really, what doesn’t belong? The super-simple Wine Spectator version here takes a less-is-more approach, using greenmarket produce as a guideline, with only frisee, spring onions and morels. A Sangiovese-based wine from Italy was just the ticket. The bright, fruity flavors of a Sangiovese wine from Italy provide lift to the meat and mushrooms, and the acidity rings true with the lemon accents in the dish.
Cesare Casella, chef and partner at Salumeria Rosi on Manhattan's Upper West Side, comes from a restaurant family near Lucca, Tuscany. To share a recipe with Wine Spectator, he looked toward home when selecting the summer dish of Zucchini Matuffi, served with polenta and paired with an Italian Riesling.