When we dive into wine pairing, it's easy to get caught up in the idea of "fine dining", or even just pairing to proteins. There is nothing duller than "this white wine goes with fish" or "this red wine goes with steak" - while true, it just feels like a bit of a cop-out.
Who pairs to Wednesday night dishes? When you're cooking up an old staple or being lazy cause your Wednesday sucked and you get a cheeky takeaway favourite - what wine to you drink with your Dahl or your Char Kway Teow? Let's be honest, sometimes you need a glass of wine on a Wednesday to get you through the week. That's what we're here for!
So in an ongoing series pairing some of our Rip, Tear & Share wines - the ultimate weekday drinkers - to classic weeknight meals. This should be fun. So whats our first combo?
Jungle Jungle & Spicy Calabrese Rigatoni
Jungle Jungle to kick us off, because Dolcetto is a somewhat ambiguous pairing. The natural instinct is to pair this with classic Piemonte style food, but funnily enough not all of it is that weeknight style - lots of cured meat snacks and hearty ragus.
We've gone a little bit south for this one - Calabria, the tip of the boot. Good news, this is similar to your classic Spaghetti Bolognese, and you can make this quick smart, but what pairs this so well is its richness and spice that Dolcetto can handle better than most. While a more traditional recipe would only use a mixture of spicy pork sausage meat and regular pork mince, we wanted a bit more meat and richness so it's sausage and beef mince. And we've gone Rigatoni over spaghetti because Rigatoni is underrated and underutilised.
If you want to turn this up to 11 or more like 17, make this like a real good Spag Bog and cook it low and slow for 3-4 hours! Just add more water/stock/wine as you like and let it simmer! You'll get quite a few serves out of this so freeze or fridge it!
2-3 Celery Stalks
4-6 cloves of Garlic (depending on how much you love garlic)
1 Tbsp of Fresh Oregano
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
Red Chilli Flakes (add as much as you like)
500gms Spicy Pork Sausage Meat
500gms Lean Beef Mince
Red Wine (Jungle Jungle should be open!)
1 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley (Curly Leaf Parsley is banned from all kitchens)
100gms Rigatoni per person.
Parmesan to serve (Parmigiano-Reggiano is elite)
Heat about 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil to medium in a heavy bottom pot. Add Sausage Meat and Beef Mince and cook until browned. Remove meat and with a slotted spoon to keep juices in the pot, and reserve for later
Dice Onion, Carrot and Celery into small pieces - about the size of your pinky fingernail. Mince Garlic and Chop Oregano. Add to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes or until translucent. Add tomato paste, chilli flakes and a splash of wine and reduce for 3-5 minutes. Add your meat back to the pot, stir to incorporate and add a bit of water or wine (the equivalent of about a cup) and reduce for 10 - 20 minutes. If it needs a little more liquid or a little less, feel free to make adjustments on the fly - taste and season as you go!
After all is reduced, take off the heat and add chopped parsley. Cook your Rigatoni according to the box's instructions. Serve bolognese/ragu on Rigatoni and cover in parmesan to your liking basically until you can't the meal underneath the parmesan.