Pasta and Wine

Pairing Pasta with Wine

Pasta is life. It’s also the perfect solution for a quick and easy dinner on a busy night or a great choice to get at an authentic Italian restaurant. Pasta is versatile and can be made into so many different dishes. While pasta dishes are seemingly endless, let’s focus on the four most popular flavor-types of pasta.

Encyclopedia of Pasta graphic courtesy of kcet.org

Types of Pasta

As you can tell from the Encyclopedia of Pasta, pasta can come in all shapes, sizes, and uses. These four kinds of pasta flavors can essentially be made with any type of pasta.

Tomato-based Pasta

The all-familiar spaghetti is included in this category. Any pasta with a tomato-based sauce is included in this category. This includes spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, sundried tomato or fresh tomato-based sauces. While great on their own, they are often accompanied by beef, sausage, or cured meats.

Cheese Pasta

Did anyone else grow up on Mac n’ Cheese? Cheese pasta is probably the most versatile. They are often accompanied by a cream sauce. Cheesy pasta dishes include Mac n’ Cheese (with or without the box), cheese ravioli with a white sauce, ricotta stuffed pasta, and chicken alfredo.

Seafood Pasta

Fresh seafood pasta can be considered a delicacy for those not lucky enough to live by the water. Some of our favorite seafood pasta dishes include seafood Cappellini, crab ravioli, shrimp alfredo, salmon pasta toss, or steamed clams with pasta.

Vegetable Pasta

Pasta with vegetables (Primavera) is a great way to sneak some extra veggies in your diet. You can even buy some pasta that is made from vegetables. Popular vegetable pasta includes pesto ravioli, vegan avocado pasta, or pasta salad.

Tomato-Based Pasta

Tomato-based pasta has a high acidity. While it is great on its own, these kinds of pasta are often paired with beef or sausage. You will want an equally acidic red wine. If the sauce is lighter, choose a medium-bodied red wine. If the sauce is creamier, choose a full-bodied red wine.

Wine Pairings

Merlot

GSM Blend

Zinfandel

Sangiovese

Grenache

Here our some of our favorite red wines under $20.

Recipes

If you haven’t already made your own spaghetti and meatballs, here’s a recipe. It will soon become your new favorite dish.

And for those of you looking to get a bit more creative, here are some of the most popular reader-contributed tomato-based pasta recipes.

Cheese Pasta

Give me cheese or give me death. Cheesy pastas are comfort food and a food group all their own. They are also the easiest to pair with wine.

You can choose to pair with a full-bodied white wine or a light-bodied red wine. Make sure that the wine has a good amount of acidity to help counteract the creaminess of the pasta.

 

Wine Pairings

Gamay

Pinot Noir

Chardonnay

Rousanne

Semillon

Viognier

Recipes

“You can buy a good pasta but when you cook it yourself it has another feeling” -Agnes Varda

Here are some of our favorite cheesy pasta recipes for when you are needed some comfort food.

Seafood Pasta

Seafood pastas are Italian classics. They can be made with tomato-based sauces, creamy sauces, or alongside veggies. Because of this pairing wines can be sort of tricky. Use your best judgment and base your pasta and wine pairing on the entire flavor of the dish.

Typically, light to medium-bodied white wines will be the best pairings. The lighter the sauce, the lighter the wine. If the sauce is creamier, go for an acidic medium-bodied white wine.

Wine Pairings

Pinot Grigio

Sauvignon Blanc

Unoaked Chardonnay

Albarino

Vermentino

Soave

Recipes

Got a fresh catch? Here is a list of easy and delicious seafood pasta recipes from Martha Stewart.

Vegetable Pasta

Pesto, broccoli, onions, oh my! Whether you are having a spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli or a broccoli pasta salad, sneaking extra veggies into your pasta dishes is a great way to add more vegetables to your diet.

Go for light-bodied white wines in order to highlight and not overbear the flavors of the vegetables and herbs. For creamy or rich vegetable pasta dishes, go for an equally rich white wine that is full or medium-bodied.

Wine Pairings

Vermentino

Sauvignon Blanc

Gruner Veltliner

Soave

Trebbiano

Recipes

Looking for a challenge? Try your hand at making a homemade Spinach and Ricotta stuffed ravioli. They say loneliness is non-existent when you are making pasta because it requires so much attention. Let us know how it turns out!

What are your favorite pasta dishes?

Do you prefer to make your own or buy it at a restaurant?