Classic Pairings for the Veggie Soul: Pairing Four

Our resident herbivore Ellen Clifford is back, but instead of discovering the perfect shower wine (each to their own), she searches for the perfect veggie alternative to popular meat and fish focused food and wine pairings. Throughout this series, Ellen breaks down the components of classic dishes and offers vegetarian alternatives that echo the flavors, textures and acidity that make them pair so well with certain wines. Enjoy Ellen's veggie twists on classic pairings! In Part 1 , Ellen notes that no culinary combination can come close to surpassing French fries and rosé, but nevertheless offers the first of her wine orientated vegetarian recipes, a simple egg based appetizer inspired by oysters and paired with Muscadet . In Part 2 , Ellen shares a biscuit and cherry preserves alternative to foi gras with Sauternes . Part 3 replaces steak with Mini-Tortilla Béarnaise and pairs it with Cabernet . Read on for Ellen's fourth recipe reinventing spaghetti with meatballs to pair with Chianti. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ CLASSIC PAIRING INFLUENCE #4: CHIANTI WITH SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS It’s comfort food. It needs to be rich with a tomato tang that plays so well with the herbal and balsamic kick of Sangiovese, the principal grape in Chianti. I went beans with this. Apparently a derogatory term Italians call the Tuscans is “mangiafagioli” meaning “bean eaters” but this is a bean dish that will make you proud to be one. Vegan and gluten free to boot! Veggie solution: Chickpea Pomodoro adapted from a recipe from Food and Wine Magazine Recipe: • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (mine was merely virgin but reserved as I can be, I’m too old to be extra-virgin) • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced • 1 28 oz. can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed with your very own hands • 1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper • kosher salt • a whole lot of baby spinach. I just dumped a lot in to the pan not measuring. It breaks down a lot so be generous • 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained (save the broth to make aquafaba creations if you are feeling thrifty!) • nutritional yeast for garnish In a large saucepan heat up that olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until it smells delicious—but don’t let it brown! Or burn. Add tomatoes, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and a big pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are breaking down and the sauce thickens—about 25 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Should happen in a few minutes! Add chickpeas and cook to heat through, just another few minutes. Divide among bowls and sprinkle on nutritional yeast to taste. Crack the Chianti. Mangia!

Fattoria Rodáno

Viacosta Chianti Classico Sangiovese 2013

Reminder that tannic beasts can still lurk in medium boned wines. Really needs time to unfurl from its raspy origin state, but when it does, is remarkably fine tuned, needle precise acidity, lovely black fruits. Drank really noshing on Parmesan roasted potatoes but could match all kinds of foods — 5 years ago

Jason, Severn and 3 others liked this

Villa Cafaggio

Riserva Chianti Classico Sangiovese 2015

Dense inky, could happily eat it with a spoon! — 5 years ago

Casa Emma

Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2015

Well balanced. Not too heavy. Some tannins. Really enjoyed this with some ribollita on a frigid night. — 5 years ago

Castello di Gabbiano

Il Cavaliere Chianti Sangiovese Blend 2017

Bright n ripe and super cheap which is good since my new shirt that is making me feel sassy isn’t. It is tasty but with somewhat of a bristly edge sorta like kissing and getting your face lightly (albeit not ideally) scratched by a five o’ clock shadow. So I’d do this wine but it should shave next time. — 5 years ago

Scorewine, Mark and 14 others liked this


Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend 2015

This is a LOT of Chianti for your dollar. 2015 vintage has a ways to go in terms of attaining the proper harmony but the sheer intensity, focus and rustic beauty are superb. Pulsating with bright acid, mineral tension and dusty tannin. Tart red fruits and anise/cinnamon flavors light up the mid palate. Give it a serious decant now and it will be quite rewarding. Outstanding potential. — 5 years ago

Daniel, P and 3 others liked this

Agricola San Felice

Poggio Rosso Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2010

Bryce Bannatyne

Tasty depth of character going straight for the jugular of my pleasure senses. Love — 5 years ago

Agricola San Felice

Il Grigio da San Felice Riserva Chianti Classico Sangiovese 2015

💯 % Sangiovese. Aged a minimum of 2 years. French and Slovenian Oak. Easy and approachable. Long in the mouth for sangio. Well balanced and lower acid for the region. — 5 years ago

Brady Sexton
with Brady
David, Shawn and 1 other liked this


Vigne Istine Chianti Classico Sangiovese 2015

My favorite of their single vineyard offerings. Earthy, menthol. Palate is full of strong tannins at the front of the mouth yet smooths out to make room for food pairing. — 5 years ago

Fattoria i Veroni

I Domi Chianti Rufina 2015

Very nice smooth Chianti. Paired with grouper fish and berry salad. Excellent Italian red! At Pignetti’s — 5 years ago

Zacch SmithElizabeth Renick
with Zacch and Elizabeth
Elizabeth Renick

Elizabeth Renick

$15 retail sales Italian wine 😌

Le Cinciole

Riserva Petresco Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2004

Like this wine a lot, because it shows impeccable balance, lovely concentration of dark fruit, and wonderful precision in its herbal, savoury and mineral personality.
Drink now, or in the following 5 years.
Highly recommended.
— 5 years ago

Peter, Thijs and 10 others liked this