|Cooks forget how acidic tomatoes are and, consequently, how only certain wines successfully pair with them at table, notably wines that are also zingy with acidity. Many white wines fill that bill; however, tangy reds are more difficult to find. Yet, with a hearty dish such as this one, a red is what you’ll want. Perhaps this explains the ubiquity of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo vines in Italy, a country that knows a lot about both tomatoes and red wine—and how they taste together. Sangiovese- and Nebbiolo-based red wines always sport zesty acidity, along with lots of red fruit character and generally mild tannin, all perfect here.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 tablespoons Marczyk Estepa D.O. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 28-ounce Carmelina Chopped or Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes (F&F special at our neighbors next door, Marczyk Fine Foods)
• 1 package Niman Ranch chicken-based sausages, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 pound spinach
• 1 package (18 ounces) precooked polenta, sliced into large chunks
• 1 cup Aneto chicken broth
• 1 teaspoon salt
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
Makes 4 servings.
Over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 45 seconds. Add the tomatoes (if whole, crushed in hand). Heat to a simmer; cook until sauce thickens, 10 minutes. Add the sausage pieces and stir in the spinach; cook, covered, until greens are wilted, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place polenta, chicken broth and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir, breaking up the chunks, until polenta is smooth and warmed through, 10 minutes. Serve topped with the sauce.
AND THE WINES…
this week from Bob Blair.
Piazzano Sangiovese Toscana
Big bang for the buck if you are making Bill’s delicious polenta with chicken sausage and hearty sauce during the week. Just don’t go too spicy adding additional chile flake or the acidity will clash with the lovely, bright acidity in the wine.
Gabriele Scaglione Langhe Nebbiolo
If you want to stand out a little more, or bring out a little nicer wine for the weekend, the Scaglione Nebbiolo is amazing. Bigger, more structure, and even a little leathery earthiness that will go great with the sausage in Bill’s recipe. Same rule applies here with the chile flakes though: go light.