Recipes and wine pairing

Caramelized apple pie

Dear readers,

Today I tought about the caramelized apple pie recipe, really tasty and quite simple to prepare: your weekend will be much sweeter!

Let’s go step by step to prepare the recipe and you will see it will be less difficult than expected.

Ingredients (12 slices):

2 egg yolks
2 entire eggs
200 gr of flour (7 oz)
200 gr of sugar (7 oz)
50 gr of melted butter for the mixture (1.8 oz)
60 gr butter to melt in the pan for the “caramelized” process (2.1 oz)
80 gr of sugar to caramelize the apples (2.8 oz)
Juice of half a lemon
250 gr of thinly sliced ​​apples (moisten with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent them discoloring) (8.8 oz)


Beat and mix the two egg yolks in a bowl, the two whole eggs and 200 grams of sugar.
Melt the 50 gr of butter for a minute in a pan, at low heat, being careful not to boil it and blacked: let cool before adding it to the mixture or else you could risk to “cook” the mixture and make a real mess!
Add the cooled melted butter to the mixture, the juice of half a lemon, the flour (a little at a time) and stir gradually.


Meanwhile, cut the apples into thin slices and moisten with a dash of lemon juice, to prevent them blacken. Turn on the oven at 180 °C (356 °F) to preheat it.
Melt the 60 grams of butter in a pan of 30 cm (11 inches) diameter and then add the 80 grams of sugar: caramelized the sugar until it has reached a golden color, taking care to stir it very often, otherwise you could burn the sugar.
At this point, place the apples (as shown in figure) into the pan, pour the mixture and bake it for 45 minutes at 180 °C (356 °F).


Overturned the cake, using a plate and being careful not to burn your hands with the melted butter that may leak during the operation!


We’re done, now we could enjoy the piece of cake!


You could store the Caramelized apple pie in a sealed plastic or glass box in the fridge up to five days. I suggest you to warm a little bit the slice before eating to enjoy more the caramelized apple.

And the wine?

For the cake with caramelized apples, I picked the 2011 Chaudelune, produced by Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle.


I chose the Chaudelune for its fruity notes of pear, apple and other white pulp fruits, which is well aligned with the main aroma of the caramelized apple cake, broadening the whole taste. Moreover, the softness of the wine surrounds and fits perfectly with the sweetness of the cake and the caramelized apples.

For more about the Chaudelune, have a look directly to the review here.

If you can not find it, I recommend a sweet wine that has similar characteristics to Chaudelune, a Moscato Passito di Chambave or a Verdicchio Passito. If you cannot find these two, I recommend a more common Passito di Pantelleria or Moscato di Pantelleria, both dessert wines, however, with different characteristics, since the predominant perfumes and aromas are related to apricot, peach and dried fruit: a pleasant pairing, but not superb as the first!


Recipes and wine pairing

Tagliatelle with shrimps and sun-dried tomatoes

Dear readers,

This time I thought of a delicious recipe and very easy to prepare, the Tagliatelle with shrimps and sun-dried tomatoes!

Are we ready to go?
Here’s what we need.

Ingredients (for 2 people):

200 gr of Tagliatelle (7 oz)
50 gr of fresh shrimps (1.8 oz)
Half an onion
Half a stalk of celery
Half a carrot
A knob of butter
6 sun-dried tomatoes (or “semi-secchi” “semi-sundried”, as I prefer)
Salt q.s.


Boil the water in a pot, so as to be able then to “sauté” the Tagliatelle in the “hot” sauce. I recommend you to use long pasta such as Tagliatelle or Fettuccine, because these kinds “capture” the sauce very well!

A tip: if you want to sauté the pasta in the sauce, you should cook one minute less than indicated in the package. In this way the pasta will have a perfect consistency and will be not too soft and overcooked.

Now, wash the shrimp, dice the onion, carrot and celery and then put the vegetables to fry for 5 minutes in a pan with a knob of butter.


After the vegetables “reach” a golden color, sauté the shrimps in the pan at medium heat.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté it for a few minutes.
Then, add salt: if the pasta is ready, drain it and sauté in the pan (with the sauce) at medium heat for a minute and serve.
Vice versa, turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to be ready, then sauté the pasta in pan at medium heat for a minute.


We’re done!

And the wine?

In Pairing with Tagliatelle with shrimps and sun-dried tomatoes, I chose a Blanc de Blancs Champagne, the Brut Réserve Sélection produced by Michel Turgy.


This Blanc de Blancs (Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes) has a foam that lasts two minutes: really impressive!
It has a very dense, persistent and very defined Perlage and it well matches with the shrimp, the main character of our recipe.


At the nose, fresh perfumes of citrus peel, lemon, lime, green apple and a hint of honey.
On the palate, this Champagne is soft, creamy and you can feel the classical slightly almond note in the end.

If you can not find it, I recommend you other Blanc de Blancs Champagne or Metodo Classico (Franciacorta or Trento DOC) which have a good sap, freshness and effervescence.


Recipes and wine pairing

Tagliatelle with Porcini mushrooms and Guanciale (jowl bacon)

Dear readers,

we’re back to our weekly recipe and, this time, I propose a fast recipe, suitable for this winter season, the Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and Guanciale, which is similar to jowl bacon.

You will need only a few ingredients and very little time!

Ingredients (for 2 people):

80 gr of porcini mushrooms (2.8 oz)
75 gr of diced Guanciale jowl bacon (or bacon) (2.8 oz)
200 gr of Tagliatelle (7 oz)
A clove of garlic
A knob of butter
The right amount of parsley and salt


Peel a clove of garlic, prepare mushrooms and dice the Guanciale (or bacon).

If you use dried porcini mushrooms, wash them, so that they can be added later in the cooking; if you have them frozen, you can put them directly in the pan.
Meanwhile, put to boil the water in the pot, so as to be able to sauté the pasta in the still hot sauce. I recommend you to use long pasta such as Tagliatelle or Fettuccine, because these kinds “capture” the sauce very well!

A tip: if you want to sauté the pasta in the sauce, you should cook one minute less than indicated in the package. In this way the pasta will have a perfect consistency and will be not too soft and overcooked.


Heat the butter in a pan and saute the peeled clove of garlic at medium heat.
Add the mushrooms, let them cook alone for a few minutes and then add the Guanciale cutted into cubes.
At this point, after 6/7 minutes, add the parsley and the salt: if the pasta is ready, drain it and sauté in the pan (with the sauce) at medium heat for a minute and serve.
Vice versa, turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to be ready, then sauté the pasta in pan at medium heat for a minute.

We’re done!

And the wine?

For the Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and Guanciale, I chose a Champagne with a significant body and character, a Pinot Noir in pureness, the Brut Blanc de Noirs by Henriet Bazin.


Very intense in taste and of remarkable body, this Pinot Noir by Bazin has a good creaminess in the mouth, a good sap and roundness. These features make it very suitable in pairing with a recipe “greasy” and tasty enough, like ours.

At the nose, aromas of small red berries, fresh raspberries, yeast.
On the palate, it feels much the intensity of Pinot Noir, its power and its persistence.

If you can not find it, I recommend other Blanc de Noirs Champagne (Pinot Noir in pureness) or Metodo Classico (Franciacorta or Trento DOC) that has a good high percentage of Pinot Noir. If you love Rosé, I recommend the Cruasé of Oltrepò Pavese.

Have a nice preparation and a good weekend!


Recipes and wine pairing

Brandacujun (Ligurian Stockfish Traditional Recipe)

Dear readers,

Here we are at the end of this week and I thought of a tasty and traditional recipe, still unknown to many Italians, the Bradacujun.

The Brandacujun is a traditional recipe of the Ligurian cuisine, made with potatoes and stockfish (or cod): the name comes from one phase of the preparation, in fact, the name is compound by “brandato”, which means “shaken vigorously” until the mixture is well mixed.


300g of Stockfish (or salted codfish, already soaked in water) (10.5 oz)
300g of potatoes (10.5 oz)
A clove of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Half glass of warm milk
The right amount of parsley, salt and pepper
Olives (the “Taggiasche” if you find them)


Wash the potatoes, peel and cut them into very small pieces.


Cut the stockfish into strips and place them in a pot with the potatoes over medium-high heat: since the mixture will begin to boil, let it cook for 1 hour, until the potatoes and the stockfish will be soft.
After a few minutes, the mixture should form a foam; remove it with a ladle and cover the pot so as to facilitate the cooking.
At this point, after it is boiled for one hour (from the time that the water in the pot began to boil), drain it and let the mixture cool.


Next, remove the thorns of the stockfish and, in the meantime, put a clove of garlic to fry in the pan for 5 minutes.
Although the compound, by tradition, should be “crushed” by hand with a mortar, to speed up the preparation of Brandacujun, I recommend using an electric mixer to mix the potatoes with the stockfish.


Later, once removed the garlic from the pan, put the mixture in the pan and fry it for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, pepper, half a glass of warm milk and keep it in the pan for another 3-5 minutes, until the mixture will be solid.


Finally, add extra virgin oil, parsley and olives.


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

And the wine?

For Brandacujun I chose a classic, Alma Brut Cuvée by Bellavista, a fabulous bubble of Franciacorta.
With an excellent flavor and effervescence, this Metodo Classico (Champenoise method) matches perfectly with the creaminess and the softness of the Brandacujun.
At the nose, fresh and intense perfumes of ripe citrus, slightly sweet ripe pear and delicate notes of vanilla and chlorophyll.
On the palate it is fresh and tasty and you feel a good match between the perfumes at the nose and the aromas in the mouth.

If you cannot find it, I recommend other Italian Metodo Classico or a Champagne, even better if they’re made only from Chardonnay grapes.

And now, enjoy!


Recipes and wine pairing

Baccalà Mantecato (Salted Creamed Codfish)

Dear readers,

Today I thought about another simple traditional recipe, with a delicate flavor, the Baccalà Mantecato.

You will need a few ingredients, and to speed up the preparation, you can use the salted codfish already soaked in water.


400g of salted codfish already soaked in water
50ml of liquid fresh cream
50ml of fresh whipped cream
150ml of milk
Extra virgin olive oil
Seed oil
A tablespoon of chopped parsley
A clove of garlic
The right amount of Salt and pepper
Toasted Bread for the serving


Place the salted codfish (already soaked) in the milk, in a heated pot over low heat.


Mix it slowly and let it boil for 10 minutes, until it is soft.
Drain the salted codfish and kept the warm milk for the final step.


Place the salted codfish in a blender, making sure to add gradually a bit of vegetable oil, then a bit of olive oil and the warm milk previously used.
Add a tablespoon of chopped parsley, salt, pepper and let cool the mixture.
At this point, making sure that you have previously cooled enough the mixture, whip the cream and add it to the mixture and stir gently.


We’re done!
You can taste the Baccalà Mantecato on toasted bread as in figure!


You can store the Baccalà Mantecato for a maximum of two days in plastic or glass sealed jar in the refrigerator.

And the wine?

For the Baccalà Mantecato I chose a Cruasé Oltrepò Pavese 2009 vintage, produced by Bruno Verdi.


The Cruasé is a Metodo Classico sparkling rosé, obtained by vinification of Pinot Noir at least 85%.
From the beautiful grain and fine and persistent bubbles, this Cruasé Bruno Verdi has an excellent flavor, good freshness, good length and structure.
On the nose, aromas of lemon, lime and citrus fruits in general.
The palate is soft and has a good mousse that favors pairing with our recipe!

Bon Appetite!


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!



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

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

Traditional “Bollito” (Boiled meat)

Have a nice weekend, dear readers!
For this weekend, I thought about a traditional italian recipe suitable for this winter days, the “Bollito“!

Let’s see how to prepare it, step by step.

Ingredients (4 people):

3 liters of water (102 oz)
1kg of beef meat suitable for cooking by boiling (in Italy we use Biancostato and Cappello del Prete) (35932oz)
15gr of salt (0.5 oz)
1 carrot
1 onion
2 celery stalks
1 sprig of laurel
2 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs of thyme
1 dried clove
5 peppercorns (preferably pink peppercorns)



Prepare a main sprig, trying to tie each other sprigs, those of thyme, parsley and laurel.
In a deep pan, boil the main sprig, the peeled onion, the peeled carrot and the two celery stalks.


When the water boils, add the salt and the meat: in the first minutes the broth could form a solid “foam” which should be removed with a slotted spoon (see figure below).


Once “unfoamed” the broth, add the peppercorns and the dried clove.
Let everything boil for about three hours, covering the pan: the Bollito will be ready when the fork will come off very easily from the meat!


I recommend serving the Bollito together with sauces, such mustard, salsa verde or mostarda.


The Bollito can be stored in glass or plastic sealed jars, in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days. The broth can be stored in the same way and you can use it as a basis for the preparation of an excellent Risotto, soups, with meat Tortellini or simply consumed hot.

And the wine?

For the Bollito I thought about an Italian wine made from a native grape of South Tyrol, the Schiava.
I tried the Schiava 2013 by Melag.


Purple red in color and transparent, this wine has a quite soft character and it’s fresh, fruity and slightly tannic.


It’s a very simple wine, with aromas of fresh fruit such as strawberries and wild berries, which goes very well with Bollito, given its characteristics of freshness, acidity and light tannins.

And now, bon appetit!


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.