Recipes and wine pairing

Bignè with smoked salmon mousse

Happy new year and welcome back dear readers,

Today I thought of a super fast recipe that you can really prepare in 5 minutes and it will be ideal for your interesting starters, the Bignè with smoked salmon mousse.
If you do not have available the Bignè, you can spread the salmon mousse on a classic sandwiches or toasted bread, much easier to find.

And now we start!


100g of mascarpone cheese (or philadelphia cheese or cream cheese) (3.5 oz)
100g of smoked salmon (3.5 oz)
50g of fresh whipped cream (1.7 oz)
the right amount of pink pepper and salt
15/20 empty Bignè


Cut the salmon into thin slices and add the mascarpone.
Started to blend the mixture with the mixer, taking care to add gradually milk to facilitate the blending.


Add salt, the pink pepper and whip the fresh cream with the electric beater.
Add two tablespoons of whipped cream, stir the mousse, fill the Bignè and we have finished!



You can store the smoked salmon mousse for a maximum of two days in a sealed plastic or glass jar in the refrigerator.

And the wine?

For the Bignè with smoked salmon mousse I chose a Cruasé Oltrepò Pavese 2009 vintage, produced by Bruno Verdi.

The Cruasé is a “Metodo Classico” (also known as Champenoise method) rosé, obtained by the vinification of Pinot Noir grapes, at least 85% of the total amount.

With a beautiful grain and fine and persistent bubbles, this Cruasé Bruno Verdi has an excellent flavor, good freshness, good persistence and structure.

At the nose, aromas of lemon, lime and citrus fruits in general.
On the palate is quite soft and has a good mousse that favors the pairing with our recipe!

And now, Bon Appetit!



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Merry Christmas!



Dear readers,

Here I am wishing you a very special and serene holiday for this Christmas!

Enjoy traditional and new recipes, drink good wine, eat great food and don’t forget to do what you want to do!



Recipes and wine pairing

Spaghetti with Anchovies in olive oil and cherry tomatoes

Dear readers,

For this weekend I though about a very simple and quick recipe to prepare (5 mins), but so much tasty, the Spaghetti with Anchovies in oil and cherry tomatoes!

Ingredients (for 2 people):

100g of cherry tomatoes (3.53 oz)
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovies in oil


Heat the olive oil in a pan and then put the two cloves of peeled garlic to fry.


Meanwhile, wash and dry the tomatoes and cut them in half.
Put the six anchovies in oil in the pan and “mash” them until they are “dissolved” in the oil.


Remove the two cloves of garlic from the pan and add the chopped cherry tomatoes.


Let the cherry tomatoes cook for 5 minutes over high heat till they seem as in figure below.


Serve the sauce on spaghetti: well, we’ve done!


It’s better not to keep or store this sauce in the refrigerator: prepare it directly with the right doses!

And the wine?

For the Spaghetti with anchovies in oil and cherry tomatoes, I chose a simple wine, the Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 by George Deboeuf.


This wine is rather rounded and it has good alcohol percentage, good intensity and delicate tannin: this means that it matches the intensity of the flavor of the anchovies, the oily sensation and the cherry tomato, a tough ingredient in pairing food and wine!

At the nose, intense perfumes of ripe banana and ripe strawberries.

If you can not find it, I recommend other Beaujolais Nouveau or rosé wines with the same characteristics mentioned above. If you opt for a white, I recommend one who has a good persistence and intensity.

And now, enjoy!



Recipes and wine pairing

Pesto Hamburger filled with Asiago cheese

Dear readers,
Here we are with the recipe of the weekend!

For this weekend, I thought about a very tasty recipe, easy to prepare, the hamburger with Pesto, filled with Asiago cheese. If you want, for the Pesto, you can use my recipe which I have proposed in the previous posts, in order to prepare a totally homemade hamburger!

Let’s start!

Ingredients (for one burger):

150/200 gr of minced beef (5.3/7 oz)
20 gr of Asiago cheese (otherwise scamorza or provolone are the same) (0.7 oz)
1 teaspoon of Pesto (link to the recipe)
Half a tomato cutted in cubes



Prepare the base for the burger: on a plate, spread and flatten the minced beef until you obtain a thin and compact base. Repeat the procedure for the upper base.


Slice the Asiago cheese, spread it over the base and, later, spread a thin layer of Pesto on top of the cheese.
Put the upper base above and try to “seal” the two bases, helping with your fingers.
Meanwhile, prepare the tomato cubes and cook the burger on high heat.
The hamburger should not be cooked for a long time, so as to keep the juices inside the meat, however, cook it according to your preferences.
If you have a microwave oven, heat the buns for about 30 seconds, so as to make it soft and smooth.
Finally, put the hamburger in the buns, taking care to put a thin layer of pesto and tomato cubes over the meat (as in the figure below).


And the wine?

For this Pesto hamburger filled with Asiago cheese I chose the barbera “Monella” 2013 by Braida.


A lightly sparkling wine, with great personality, body and good freshness.
On the nose, aromas of red fruit and cherries in brandy.



“Monella” is perfect in pairing with the Pesto Hamburger, thanks to the soft bubbles that help to “clean” and “degrease” the palate from the cheese and to the body and intensity which do not dominate and vanish in comparison with the meat.

If you can’t find it, I suggest a sparkling red wine with the same characteristics like Lambrusco di Gasparossa or Barbera. Even a Brut Rosè would be perfect, if you prefer an elegant pairing.

And now, enjoy!


Recipes and wine pairing

Duck white Ragù

Weekend time, dear readers!
For this one, I thought about a particular and sophisticated recipe, the Duck white Ragù.

Ingredients (serves 6):

2 duck legs
4 thigh duck (you can replace the thigh with chest, easier to find)
1 shallot
2 onions
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
3 sage leaves
2 liters of water for the broth
1 laurel leaf for the broth
1 glass of Sherry (white wine or port are fine the same)
1 knob of butter
Extra virgin olive oil



Wash the duck, dry it and debone it.
Put the deboned meat in the meat grinder; if you don’t have it, you can cut the meat by knife, working it until you get small pieces of meat. In any case, keep a little of skin duck in the meat, in such a way as to make softer the white Ragù. Once ground, stir the meat with your hands.


Meanwhile, prepare the broth with the duck bones, the celery, carrot, onion and the laurel leave. Savory the broth and cover the pan with a lid, making sure to leave the heat to the minimum.


Chop the shallots, sage, onion and celery and sauté it in a pan, adding a spoon of broth to avoid burning the sauté: turn off the heat once the sauce will have acquired a golden color.3_Ragù_Bianco_Anatra_Thewinelifestyle


In another pan, sauté the ground meat of duck with extra virgin olive oil and butter: brown the meat over high heat, in a way which does not make it “boil” in its juices.
When the meat has acquired a golden color (see figure below) and has dried the liquids in the pan, blend it with a glass of Sherry (or white wine): later, add the sauce and reduce heat to a minimum.
Add salt and pepper and then the broth, in quantities of three ladles (see figure below).


During the cooking process (about 2 hours), remember to add broth whenever the Ragù is too dry: check it about every 15-20 minutes.


You can serve the Duck white Ragù on a plate of pasta, preferably a “short” one: the best match would be with Garganelli, a fresh Emilian short egg rifled pasta which captures the Ragù very well.


You can store the Duck white Ragù in glass or plastic sealed jars for about three days, in the refrigerator. You can keep for a week, if stored in the freezer. Before serving, thaw and heat quickly in the microwave.

And the wine?

For the Duck white Ragù, I chose “Capo di Terra” 2007 by Conti Sertoli Salis, a small Italian producer located in Valtellina.

It is a “Valtellina Superiore”, made from Nebbiolo grapes (the same for Pedimont Barolo and Barbaresco), Chiavennasca in the local dialect.


Clear and quite transparent, garnet red in color with orange highlights, “Capo di Terra” is a quite rounded wine, elegant and quite tannic.
On the nose, aromas of blueberries, currants, raspberries and other small red and black berry and violet leaves flower.


It pairs very well with the Duck white Ragù, without prevailing, but drying very well the oiliness of Ragù.

So, have a nice weekend and a good preparation!



Recipes and wine pairing

Risotto with Carmignano red wine and Goat cheese

Today a recipe for your weekend, the Risotto with Carmignano red wine and goat cheese, something which is not difficult to prepare, but it will give you a great pleasure!

Ingredients (4 people):

1.5 liters of broth (already in abundance salted) (507 oz)
2 cups Carnaroli rice type
1 shallot or onion
1 glass of red wine (preferably a Carmignano wine)
1 abundant knob of butter
100g of medium aged goat cheese (3 1732 oz)
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and another knob of butter for creaming the Risotto


Melt the abundant knob of butter in a pan, at medium heat.
Fry the shallot (or an onion), finely chopped, in the pan until it has acquired a golden color.
Add the two cups of rice and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, so as to toast the rice.

Toasting the rice may take from 3 to 5 minutes. It’s important to never stop stirring and pay close attention to the rice so that it does not stick or burn.
It’s important to pay close attention to this step: a good toasting, in fact, means that the rice will not be overcooked and it will preserve the compactness of its grains. Toasting the rice is necessary to close the rice pores in order to increase its holding to cooking: if you omit this step you could make the rice looks like a boiled rice with a condiment.

Then, pour in the pan a glass of red wine, preferably of Carmignano: once it dried, pour two or three ladles of broth.




Stir often and add broth to rice whenever it dry: cook it for 20-25 minutes until, tasting it, it will be soft and compact (see figure below).


Turn off the heat and pour into the pan another knob of butter, the grated Parmesan cheese and goat cheese cutted into small pieces. Stir it and then place slices of goat cheese on top of the risotto to decorate it.

11_Risotto_Red_Wine_Carmignano_Thewinelifestyle 12_Risotto_Red_Wine_Carmignano_Thewinelifestyle 13_Risotto_Red_Wine_Carmignano_Thewinelifestyle

In closing, cover the Risotto with a lid and let stand it for 5 minutes.


And the wine?

For this recipe, I suggest the “Carmignano Riserva” 2010, produced by Artimino.
The Carmignano is an Italian wine of ancient origin, but is not well known internationally, although it is a Tuscan wine with similar characteristics to those of a Chianti.

This 2010 reserve shows a ruby red color with orange highlights and a good consistency.
At the nose, perfumes of ripe red fruit, mainly cherry, black pepper, coffee and a very pleasant balsamic hint!
On the palate, this wine is quite rounded, fresh and tannic, making it very pleasant paired with the Risotto.


If you can not find it, I recommend wines with a good evolution, a good structure and tannins, such as a Chianti Classico, a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or a Bordeaux from Haut-Médoc region, if you prefer a French one.




Nutella Tart

Hello everyone!

Today for you a special recipe, perfect for the weekend!
We will prepare the Nutella tart (“Crostata” in Italian), a classic loved by all.
My little niece and nephew asked me to prepare it for their snacks and I have taken the opportunity to share the recipe with you!


280gr of flour (9 78 oz)
120gr of potato starch (4 1564 oz)
240gr of butter (8 1532 oz)
160g of icing sugar (fine powdered sugar) (5 4164 oz)
20gr of albumen (about half of an egg) (0 4564 oz)
1g of salt (0 132 oz)
200g of Nutella (7 116 oz)


Cut the butter into small cubes and mix it with the flour, gradually poured, and the potato starch.
Continue to knead, adding the powdered sugar, salt, and finally the albumen.
Don’t “overwork” the shortcrust pastry, in order to maintain it solid.
Form a “tile” about 4 cm high (1.6 inch), cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or a night in the refrigerator.

Roll out the shortcrust pastry on two sheets of greaseproof paper (waxed paper) (as in the figure below) so as to make the tart base.
Once you have cutted the bottom, lay it on the greaseproof paper inside the pot. With the rest of the short pastry, make the tart border and the rolls to decorate it.


Spread Nutella on the tart base and then decorate the tart with the short pastry rolls.

Bake the tart for 30-35 minutest at 160°C (320°F)  in a convection oven, or 180°C (356°F) in a conventional oven.
The tart will be ready when it will acquire a golden color (see figure below).



The tart can be stored for about a week, preferably in an appropriate sealed container.

And the wine?


For the Nutella tart, I chose the “Sandeman Late Bottled Vintage” 2009, a young and intense Porto, with an evolved and balanced structure.
With a good consistency and a ruby red color, this Porto got a sweet flavor which “works” well with both the sweetness of the shortcrust pastry and the softness of Nutella!

At the nose, aromas of ripe red fruit, cherries in brandy and hints of dried fruit, almond and hazelnut.
The taste is fruity and velvety.
You will easily find it, otherwise, I suggest other Porto wines with a good evolution.

and now, let’s have a good snack!



Recipes and wine pairing

Soft Pizzelle cookies

Hello everyone!

Today we’re making soft cookies inspired by a traditional italian recipe, the “Pizzelle” from Abruzzi. They are very simple to prepare, requiring little time and few ingredients!


3 eggs
75g of sugar (2 4164 oz)
420g of flour (14 1316 oz)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Half a glass of warm milk (to activate the baking powder)
Half a sachet of baking powder
Vanillin flavor
Pearl sugar
Cookie cutters


Mix the eggs and sugar with a mixer until they are well blended.

Add the extra virgin olive oil, pour half of the flour gradually, then the vanillin flavor and continue stirring.
Meanwhile, melt the baking powder in half a glass of warm milk, stir and then pour in the mixture.
Add the remaining flour and mix it until it forms a smooth paste.

Pour the mixture in the cookie cutters (paper or aluminum) and decorate with pearl sugar.


Cook it in the oven at 180 ° C (350 ° F) for 20-25 minutes.



You can store the cookies in a sealed glass or plastic jar for up to 6/7 days.

And the wine?

I recommend a sweet wine, preferably a “Controguerra Passito Bianco”, a “Moscato Rosa dell’Alto Adige” or a classic “Passito di Pantelleria”.
I propose “Controguerra Passito Bianco” as traditional pairing, since the recipe is from the Abruzzi region.
I recommend the “Moscato Rosa dell’Alto Adige” to those who prefer the aroma of spices, which create a pleasant aromatic taste with the cookies.
Finally the “Passito di Pantelleria”, easier to find in supermarkets, with its aromas of ripe yellow fruits that well match the softness of the cookies.


Recipes and wine pairing


Hello everybody!

Here’s to you my recipe for the Ragù.
It’s very easy to prepare and does not require much time, from an hour to three, depending on your available time and the intensity of the flavor you want for the Ragù.
I hope this recipe will be clear to you: comment and ask if you have questions or if you want to share your results!


Ingredients (for 4 people):

200g of ground beef (7 116 oz)
100g of pork sausage (remove the external peel) (3 1732 oz)
Half carrot
Half celery
Half onion
3 extra virgin olive oil tablespoons (or alternatively, a knob of butter)
Salt, pepper, sugar, nutmeg (right amount)
200g of tomato puree (italian “Passata di Pomodoro”) (7 116 oz)
200g of tomato pulp (italian “Polpa di Pomodoro”) (7 116 oz)
1 glass of white wine (or red if you want to give a stronger flavor to the sauce)


Chop finely and saute, with a drizzle of olive oil (or butter) in a pan, the half celery, carrot and onion for 6-7 minutes, until it’s golden (see figure below).


Add the ground beef and the sausage (removed of its peel), suitably mixed, and sear it, taking care to “hit” it in such a way as to form many small lumps.

 ragu zoom

Then, once the meat has dried of its juices, sprinkle the meat with a glass of white wine (or red, if you want to give a stronger flavor to the sauce).
Let the wine dry, add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Lower the heat to minimum and add the tomato puree and pulp.
Also add a teaspoon of sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomato.
Cover the pan with a lid, but not completely.

Every 15-20 minutes, stir the meat sauce and add each time, if necessary, half a glass of warm water, in order not to burn the sauce (see figure below, dried Ragù vs right Ragù).

Zoom asciutto vs bagnato

After an hour, the sauce is ready to be served on a plate of pasta, preferably a short type like “Penne”, “Farfalle”, “Tortiglioni”, “Fusilli”, “Rigatoni”.
However, the Ragù can be cooked for two or three hours more, acquiring a quite extraordinary taste!

 Pasta zoom_Fotor


You can store the sauce in the fridge in a sealed glass or plastic jar for up to 2-3 days.
You can also freeze it to keep it more days.

And the wine?

Bottiglia e bicchiere_Fotor

For the Ragù I chose “Les Haut de Cabanac” 2011, produced by Château Ségur de Cabanac.
This Bordeaux blend, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, ruby color with garnet reflections, has a good body, good softness and excellent balance, thanks also to Merlot. The tannins are very delicate, but can be perceived uniformly given the aging of the wine in barriques.
On the nose, aromas of coffee, white pepper, ripe red fruit (cherries and blackberries) and undergrowth. On the palate, spices and coffee.

Glass in primo piano_Fotor

If you cannot find it, I recommend wines with good evolution, based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes; alternatively Sangiovese-based wines, such as Chianti Classico or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano!

And now, enjoy!