This week I will give you two very simple Italian recipes, Chicken Parmesan and a No-Bake Lasagna, to illustrate how wine can make the meal. Wasn’t where I was headed. It just worked out that way because…well…read on.
I’m a Pulchella wine club member. I found myself drinking some of what I received from a recent shipment with two different dinners I made. I expected the wine to complement my dinner, but what I didn’t expect, especially in the latter of the two recipes below, was for the wine to save my dinner. At least, that was what Eddie decided it did. What’s your opinion?
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
One to two pounds of chicken breast “tenders” or thin sliced breasts. (Kids like tenders as they are easy to tackle, and great cold the next day in their lunch bag.)
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
shredded parmesan cheese
½ package your choice of noodles
In one bowl: Dip each piece of chicken in beaten egg, both sides.
Move to a second bowl: Coat well with breadcrumbs.
Arrange breaded chicken in 9×13 ovenproof dish.
Bake chicken, uncovered, 20 minutes.
Simultaneously simmer spaghetti sauce.
After 20 minutes, spoon some of the spaghetti sauce over the tops of the chicken.
Then top each piece with as much mozzarella shredded cheese as you like – we like lots.
Bake 15 more minute or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Cook pasta during the last few minutes of the baking.
Use remaining sauce on paste, sprinkle with cheese, and serve with a green salad.
08 Pulchella Tempranillo
Color – Ruby to purple, with a deep purple edge.
Nose – Plum, black pepper, black cherry, maybe mushroom?
Taste – Dry, tannic, jammy, stemmy, plum, dark berries, dark cherry.
Finish – Long length, with pepper holding on, drink now.
Pairing – The wine held up to the spaghetti sauce (Ragu w/mushroom), tannins complemented, fruit backed off but the sauce grew sweeter with the wine. Very pleasant to linger over.
The other night I made a pizza sauce with tons of ham, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, garlic and onions. I used the leftover for the sauce in this lasagna.
1 box no-bake lasagna
8 ounces of each: ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
1 quart pre-made spaghetti – or pizza – sauce
Preheat oven to 350
Coat bottom of 9 by 2 inch pan with sauce, layer noodles, cheese, sauce, and repeat, until pan is full. (If you haven’t used no-bake noodles you should. No need to add more water to pan, and you can break them apart to fit and makes for a firmer – but cooked through – lasagna.) Bake 30-40 minutes. Allow 10-15 minutes for it to cool and set.
09 Pulchella D’epaisseur Melange (54% Grenache, 45% Syrah)
Color – Ruby, crescent moon edge of amber.
Nose – Raspberry, stems, cherry, black peppercorns, smooth dark chocolate.
Taste – Dry, tannic, blackberry, cherry, peppery, chocolate, tobacco.
Finish – Fruit muscled out in a good way by a nice dry, peppery, long finish. Drink now, or wait up to 5 years.
Pairing – “This lasagna needed the wine!” announced my husband Eddie. He liked the pizza sauce lasagna but the pepperoni made it too salty. The wine, successfully, corrected the faults in my sauce. And, an additional benefit, added some much-needed pepper.
If you’re a big wine drinker, and from the U.S. and not France, food takes second place to your wine. In France, and many old world wines, wine is meant to go with food. They are aptly called, “food wines.” But not for us Americans. We want our wine big and fleshy and spicy and jammy. Then, because it tastes so good, it makes us hungry for food. And then we drink again, forever perpetuating the glorious cycle. It’s okay if you don’t agree, leaves me with more wine.
Join the club with me: http://www.pulchellawinery.com and make your own pairing!