Christmas is around the corner. Let's pair some Italian recipes with wine

Christmas is around the corner. Let's pair some Italian recipes with wine

Hello from cloudy Tuscany. It's almost December and everybody is getting ready for the Mercatini month. If you haven't been around Montepulciano during Christmas time, you probably don't know that this is another busy time for the city and its renowned Christmas Market! Every year the Piazza Grande is adorned with log houses offering traditional Italian Christmas gifts and delicious holiday treats. A beautiful Christmas tree graces the center of the Piazza, lots of lights are seen and music is heard throughout the city of the Vino Nobile!

Christmas is the best time of the year for families and friends to gather around a table. But you cannot share stories and loving memories of Italy without your favorite bottles of Rosso, Nobile, Chianti Classico, Brunello or any other Italian wine and of course some Italian dishes!

The Perbacco Team is here to help, as always. So here we go: Food&Wine pairing just for you!

PART I : The starters

Caprese salad with tomato mozzarella and basil

Recommended wine: Dei 'Martiena' Toscana Bianco IGT 2022

Ingredients for 4:

2 mozzarella balls 8 oz. each

3-4 medium red tomatoes in clusters

basil leaves

pine nuts

extra virgin olive oil and sea salt

Slice the tomatoes in rings and season with some salt.

Cut the mozzarella into round slices.

Using a mixer, mix the olive oil, basil, sea salt and pine nuts.

Place the slices of tomatoes and mozzarella on a plate by alternating them one over the other. Pour the sauce from the mixer on the slices and pour some extra virgin olive oil. Use basil leaves for decoration.

Green cabbage rolls

Recommended wine: Fabbrica Pienza 'Newton' Rosso Toscana IGT 2020

Ingredients for 4:

1 green cabbage

3.5 oz. (100 gr) of mortadella (chopped)

3.5 oz. (100 gr) minced/ground beef

1 egg

1/2 glass of cold milk


3.5 oz. (100 gr) of grated Parmigiano cheese

the soft white part of the bread (as much as needed)

1 glass of white wine

some toothpicks

Soak the bread in the milk and drain it

Boil the cabbage leaves and spread them on a kitchen cloth to cool.

In a large bowl, mix the mortadella with the ground beef, the egg, the chopped parsley, the grated cheese, the bread and form them into small meatballs using your palms.

Cut the cabbage leaves into long strips, throwing away the central part.

Wrap the meatballs in the cabbage leaves, spear with a toothpick and cook them in a pan with just a bit of olive oil, garlic and white wine.

Pappa al pomodoro (traditional tomato soup from Tuscany)

Recommended wine: Riecine Chianti Classico DOCG 2020

Ingredients for 4:

1 kg of peeled tomatoes

3.5 oz. (100 gr) of stale bread

1 leek, 1 garlic clove, 2-4 basil leaves

1 big cup of vegetable broth

extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

In a large saucepan fry the leek cut into pieces and the garlic clove, then add the tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes.

Cut the bread in large pieces and then mix it with the tomatoes and cover with the vegetable broth. Cook slowly for another 15 minutes adding more broth if necessary. Use a mixer to obtain a thick cream.

Finally, add the chopped basil and serve with a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil.

Ribollita (traditional soup from Tuscany)

Recommended wine: Molinaccio La Spinosa Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2019


Ingredients for 4:

5 oz. (150 gr) of dry white beans

5 oz. (150 gr) of peeled tomatoes

½ cabbage

½ green curly cabbage

1 bunch of spring chard

1 potato

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

1 onions

stale bread, salt, pepper, thyme

extra virgin olive oil, vegetable broth

Soak the beans in a bowl with water for a 3-4 hours. Then boil them for another 2 hours; use half of the beans and whisk them with a mixer to get a purée and keep the other half to use it later.

Slice the onions and fry them in a big pan with olive oil, then add the black cabbage and the green cabbage both thinly sliced.

After about 10-15 minutes add the potatoes, the carrots and the celery chopped into medium sized pieces. Then add the tomatoes cut into pieces, the spring chards in slices and the purée of beans.

Add the thyme and pepper and cook everything for an hour, adding every once in a while, the vegetable broth. When the soup is almost cooked, add the whole beans set aside previously. At this point, add the small pieces of stale bread and leave to rest for about 1-2 hours.

In the meantime, put slices of stale bread in the bottom of the soup bowls.

Reheat the vegetable soup and as it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and pour the soup in the bowls over the bread slices. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and a couple of thyme or basil leaves.

Buona preparazione e buon appetito!

...TO BE CONTINUED... (part II first dishes)

Grazie a "Carmela" per l'aiuto! In one fell swoop!
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