Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Perfect Pair: Gnocchi with Neapolitan Meat Ragu with Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Wine

The Campania region of southern Italy is home to Mount Vesuvius as well as the bustling city of Naples.  The volcanic soils of Campania grow some of the best produce in Italy. Chef Enzo Febbraro joined us on Capital Cooking to show us his Gnocchi with Neapolitan Ragu from Campania, Italy.  Hope to Italy again soon!  Get the full menu in the Capital Cooking Cookbook.  Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon red wine really brings out the flavor of the meat sauce.  Cheers! 
The Ragu:  

1 1/2 lbs top round steak cut 1/8-inch thick 
salt and pepper, to taste 
1 Tbsp of chopped parsley
1/4 cup pecorino cheese, grated 
1 whole baby back ribs cut in 4 pieces 
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 Onion, coarsely chopped 
1 celery ribs chopped 
1 large carrot chopped 
2 cloves of garlic chopped
15 basil leaves 
3 small cans of plum tomatoes 
1/2 cup red wine 
1 tablespoon of salt
pepper to taste

Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper, parsley and cheese. 
Roll the meat and tie it in several places with kitchen string. 
Salt and pepper the spare ribs. Set the meats aside. 
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Brown the round steak and spare ribs in the oil on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the onion, celery and carrot and continue cooking until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and basil. Cook 1 minute. 
Add the meat, the tomato and then the red wine. 
Stir in the tablespoon of salt, a grinding of pepper. 
Cover the pot, bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, and cook the sauce until the meat falls of the bones, about 1 1/2 hours. 
Cut the meat off the bones of the spareribs and shred the rest of the meat then add the pieces to the sauce. 


1 pound Idaho baking potatoes, 
1 cup all-purpose flour, 
1 large egg, 
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan
salt and white pepper to taste

Boil the whole potatoes and let them sit for a while until they cool down (about 20 minutes). After you peel them mush the potatoes in a bowl, making sure there aren't any bumps left. Break the egg in the potatoes and add the flour and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with white pepper and little salt and knead the mixture into manageable dough. Divide the dough to small balls and roll them into thin snakes. Use more flour for rolling as needed. Cut each snake into 1/2 inch pieces and roll the gnocchi with your finger over a bowl. Drop the gnocchi in boiling water and boil them for 1 minutes after they had risen to the surface of the boiling water.

The Pairing: Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

The Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon is meant to show all that is Mt. Veeder without overt tannins and the 2014 is a great example of that proposition. Black and red berry characters with hints of herb, Asian spice, espresso and toast combine with floral notes, weight and a wonderful finish. Blend: 90.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 8.5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec.

Photos by Shauna Alexander

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