Dec 17, 2013

Wine Pairing: Lamb Ragu with Punica Barrua 2010

Punica Barrua 2010 - an Italian red wine with 85% Carignano, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot grape varieties. My friend from Wine & Taste handed me this bottle of wine and see what recipe can go with this versatile blend. 

Wine and Taste is a membership based website in Taiwan promoting wine cultures. Members receive a bottle of wine each month along with detailed information regarding its background, estate stories, pairing suggestions and more. Other services include periodic articles, recipes, event invitations, etc. Personally speaking, I think this type of service is ideal for someone who wants to know and enjoy a bottle of wine but do not have the knowledge nor time to pick one personally.

Punica Barrua comes with strong red fruits aromas and a slight hint of liquorice, which works with lamb ragu especially with the use of mint in the recipe.

Ingredients (2 to 3 portions)?

  • 0.5 lb of ground lamb
  • 1 cup of pomodoro sauce 
  • 1/2 cup of red wine 
  • 1/2 bag or 250 grams of casarecce or rigatoni pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried mixed Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 big shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Few springs of fresh mint leaves
  • Some ricotta cheese
  • Some sea salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper


Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add a few pinches of salt to flavor the water. Add in the pasta and give it a quick stir once a while, cook till al dente in texture, about 10 minutes. Once done, drain well and set aside for later use. I used casarecce pasta here but usually most recipes call for rigatoni.

Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Peel and chop the shallot into tiny cubes. Save the prettier looking mint leaves for garnish and finely chop the remaining.

Drizzle enough olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Turn to medium high heat. Add in the shallot and garlic, also some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook just till the garlic is about to get burned.

Quickly add in the lamb. Stir a bit so the ground meat doesn't stick together. Add the Italian seasoning and mix well. Cook till the mixture dries up a little.

Pour in the wine, I simply took some from my precious Punica Barrua. Also pour in the pasta sauce, I used the one with mushroom and ripe olives. Other varieties such as roasted garlic or mushroom pomodoro sauce work pretty well too. Mix well, bring to a boil and lower the heat to keep it simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes or till the sauce has been reduced by at least 1/3.

Mix in the pasta along with about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves. Cook for another 30 seconds or so before plating.

Top the pasta with few dollops of ricotta cheese and garnish with some mint leaves. Some prefer to mix in the ricotta cheese during the cooking process. That is fine but I like to add it in the end for presentation purpose. Don't you like the pure white and green contrast for the lamb ragu?

Generally speaking most red wine works well with red meat. In addition, the herbal note from the Punica Barrua echoes the aroma from the lamb and the mint leaves. Italian wine with Italian dish, what else can you asks for?

Maybe dessert. 

Ok I'm getting too greedy here.

1 comment:

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