This Valentine’s Day, we’re collaborating with our friends at MARLO Wine to bring you the the perfect date night via 2 spectacular wine and pasta pairings. We could rave about MARLO all day, but we’ll let you take their word for it:
“MARLO exists to bring better wine to our friends, born out of a vision to allow people to access serious wine by the bottle without the baffling wine chat. With over ten years of experience in the wine trade, we saw a need to deliver a new concept, offering a concise selection of hero wines accessible via your phone and quickly couriered to your door.
You’ll find the top names, old vintages, cult classics, big bottles and other pretty cool stuff on our site. You’ll also find them at incredible prices, having worked in the wine trade for most of our adult lives we know when something is a steal and we want to bring that to you. Most of our wines will have a limited amount of stock and therefore when it's gone sadly it is well and truly gone but keep an eye out for new offers, we’ll be delivering them to you regularly.”
Explore their full range of wines here. Now for the pairings…
Pairing 1: 2018 Nebbiolo Valmaggiore, Sandrone with Pappardelle Ricce, Seafood Ragù and Fresh Parsley
About the dish
Ever since ancient Roman times, the practise of farming fish has been a widespread tradition across the watery reaches of il bel paese. Situated in Tuscany, just a stone’s throw away from Grosetto to the north, there is a sandbar that conceals Orbetello’s lagoon from a small beach known as Bagni di Domiziano. If you squint your eyes into the distance at low tide, it is possible to just about make out the underwater ruins in which the Romans used to raise red mullet and monkfish. According to The Twelve Caesars – the canonised written records of twelve Roman emperors, – the infamous Roman Emperor Nero spent his halcyon summer days in these very waters tending to the fish, which, as a result of their diet, remain even today exceptionally tasty. Our seafood ragù is made from the same fresh products with the delicious additions of squid, tomatoes, prawns, wine, parsley, and shallots.
Paired with thick strands of pappardelle ricce, which have their origins in the fourteenth century, their rustic, jagged edges ensure every ounce of our ragù is captured, which truly is the pezzo forte (the pièce de résistance) of this special dish.
About the wine
2018 Nebbiolo Valmaggiore, Sandrone
Get it from MARLO Wine - £30
“Sandrone's Valmaggiore is a baby Barolo made from a stunning single vineyard in Vezza d'Alba, about a 20-minute drive from Barolo. Just like Barolo, it is 100% Nebbiolo but the cooler climate makes the Valmaggiore more supple and approachable. Knock up your best pasta dish and tuck in.”
Why this pairing?
Nebbiolo varies depending on where it is grown and the winemaking choices. It is the primary grape used in Barolo and Barbaresco wines but is a red wine in its own right. However, it generally has high tannins and high acidity, making it a pleasurable wine to enjoy alongside food. This combo in particular, along with the characteristic rose, cherry, leather and anise notes present in Nebbiolo, will work very well with heavier sauces such as a meaty ragù.
Pairing 2: 2019 Primitivo Di Puglia, A Mano with Venetian Duck Ragù and Freshly Made Gnocchi
About the dish
The city of Venice is one defined by its heritage - from the grand Byzantine architecture that rises from the landscape to its labyrinthine canals and waterways. A direct path to the Adriatic Sea, echoes of the Ottoman Empire ring throughout the city. Venice’s Middle Eastern heritage endures in its modern cuisine, too: spices like cinnamon, saffron, and nutmeg are commonplace in Venetian cooking. Few dishes are more emblematic of this heritage than the classic Venetian duck ragù, which blends rich duck meat with wine, bay leaf, and exotic herbs and spices.
As is often the case in Italy, the origin of duck ragù is disputed. Some suggest the dish was the brainchild of Catherine de Medici in the sixteenth century, who sought to take advantage of the abundance of birds that lived on the River Arno in Tuscany. However, most regard this dish as quintessentially Venetian. Indeed, the duck had long been domesticated during the days of the Republic of Venice, and an early version of this ragù was commonly enjoyed with bigoli pasta. While many Venetian restaurants still honour this traditional pairing, we relish this ragù most when paired with our rustic homemade gnocchi dumplings.
About the wine
2019 Primitivo Di Puglia, A Mano
Get it from MARLO Wine - £13.50
“Puglia is one of the more rustic regions of Italy, but A Mano's Primitivo (AKA Zinfandel) is anything but. Ripe and juicy, this is a real crowd-pleaser, packed full of juicy red fruits with some herbaceous and spice notes. Brilliant with some spaghetti bolognese or simply on its own.”
Why this pairing?
Italian Primitivo wines almost exclusively come from Puglia, where Primitivo is the second most planted grape after Negroamaro. Primitivo is known as Zinfandel outside of Italy, where it is mostly found in California. Interestingly, the Primitivo grape originated in Croatia. Puglia's climate, with hot weather, nearly constant sunshine and cooling sea breezes, forms the perfect growing conditions for Primitivo.
This wine is characteristically medium-to full-bodied with moderate tannins and moderate acidity. This makes it an easy drinking wine and, as this is a very flavourful sauce, we recommend it for its strong tannins and intense black fruit notes.
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.