Wine

Chandler Reach Vineyards 2008 Monte Regalo

Just off the I-5 between Prosser and Richland Washington there is a beautiful Tuscan style Villa that overlooks the valley below and mountain ranges beyond. What you find there was created by inspiration from a trip to Tuscany by winemaker and owner Len Paris.

The vineyards are located on a north-facing slope, gathering the intense heat of summer that gives the powerful intense flavors to the grapes. Chandler Reach produces an excellent assortment of grapes, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot sangiovese and syrah.

This area in the “Red Mountains” is famous for production of great cabernet sauvignon, and “Taste of the Land” is what this winery is all about so it’s very fitting to bring you a vineyard leader, their 2008 Monte Regalo.

This wonderful red is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc, three of the finest grapes produced on their slopes.

After a good swirl the aroma that first impresses your olfaction (sense of smell) is that of cherry, vanilla, oak and wisp of cinnamon. Another swirl and a gentle sip bring all your senses the awareness of a great wine. Very light in body with nice even tannins, quite a surprise to your mind ,that would expect something more heavy and rough like cabernet Sauvignons.

What your nose and palate brings you is a velvety smooth expression of red fruit, strawberries, and maybe chocolate covered cherries? Add a hint of spice to your senses and you find this red complex in nature for such lightness with a gratifying long finish, where your palate continues to pick up ever changing flavors.

If you have never tasted one of the wines from Chandler Reach Vineyard, you should find the opportunity to swirl, sip and swallow.

A delicious Italian recipe to pair with this awesome red.

Lasagna Verdi al Forno

Prep. Time- 1 hr, Cook time- 1.5 hr, Ready to serve in 1 ½ hour

Ingredients

PASTA

• 5 ounces spinach – rinsed, stemmed, and dried
• 2 eggs
• 5/8 cup semolina flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

RAGU

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 slices bacon, diced
• 1 carrot, diced
• 1 stalk celery, diced
• 1 onion, diced
• 3 1/2 ounces lean ground pork
• 3 1/2 ounces lean ground beef
• 3 1/2 ounces minced ham
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 cup beef stock
• salt and pepper to taste
• 3 1/2 ounces chicken livers, trimmed and chopped

BECHAMEL

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups warm milk
• 1 pinch salt
• 1 pinch ground nutmeg

CHEESE

1 2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons butter

Directions

1. For the pasta dough: Steam the spinach in a steamer or over boiling water until bright green, 2 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess moisture and process in a food processor to make a paste. Combine spinach with eggs, semolina, and salt and process until smooth. Stir in enough of the flour to make smooth dough. Knead briefly, cover and set aside.

2. For the ragu: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute bacon, carrot, celery and onion until onion is translucent. Stir in ground pork, ground beef and minced ham, and cook until browned. Stir in tomato paste, oregano and beef stock. (Reserve the chicken livers for later.) Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

3. For the bechamel: While the ragu is simmering, combine 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to make a roux. Remove from heat, let rest one minute, then whisk in warm milk. Return to heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

4. To cook pasta: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. On a floured surface, divide pasta dough into three portions. Roll each portion out to a thin sheet. Have ready an ice water bath. Cook each sheet 3 minutes in the boiling water; remove from the boiling water and dip in the ice water; drain and dry on a clean, dry cloth.

5. To finish the ragu: Stir the chicken livers into the simmering sauce. Cook 1 minute, remove from heat and set aside.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

7. To assemble lasagna: Place one pasta sheet in bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread one-third of the ragu, one-quarter of the bechamel, one-third of the ricotta, and one-quarter of the parmesan over the pasta. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining bechamel and parmesan and dot with butter.

8. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until top is golden brown.

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