(StatePoint) This fall, be inspired by the warm, welcoming style of Italian entertaining: turn to the kitchen, the heart of the home.
“Italian gatherings are relaxing and fun, so don’t worry about décor or timing the main course to the minute guests arrive,” says Emilia Nardi, owner of the award-wining Brunello producer Tenute Silvio Nardi winery of Montalcino in Tuscany. “It is about bringing family and friends together to have a good time. Dinners should be a joy for both the guests and the hosts.”
An avid cook and host, Emilia Nardi recommends having the wine and appetizers ready for when guests arrive. Wine should be opened to breathe.
A Caprese salad of freshly harvested ingredients is a hearty selection. A charcuterie board, while simple to prep, will keep guests appeased as the main course cooks. Pair these delicious bites with a structured wine.
For the main course, Emilia Nardi, suggests taking a page from her family cookbook with this recipe for Beef Cannelloni:
• 4 eggs
• 2 3/4 cups flour
• 2 pinches of salt
• 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
Add to mixer. Knead by hand for 10 minutes and then cover in olive oil and wrap in saran wrap. Let it rest for one hour. Spread it out by hand and cut it in a square (around 15cm per 15cm).
Mixture and Sauce Ingredients:
• 4 cups of tomato pasta sauce
• 2 large onions, finely chopped
• 1 celery stalk in big chops
• 3 carrots in big chops
• 6 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 lb. of lean beef chops
• 2/3 lb. of lean pork chops
• 1/2 lb. gr turkey breast chops
• 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
• 2 cups of grated parmigiana cheese
• 4 1/3 cups béchamel sauce
• 1/2 a lemon grated peel
• Aromatic bunch made of rosemary, sage and parsley, tied together.
• Cover the pan with olive oil to brown the onions. Add the meat, carrots, celery, the aromatic bunch and hot tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper.
• Cook over low heat for one hour. Remove the aromatic bunch and celery. Then remove carrots and meat and put it into the mixer, adding béchamel sauce, nutmeg, lemon peel and parmigiana. Mix it well.
• In boiling water, let a square of pasta be briefly immersed in the water and then put it on a rag. Put the mixture in the middle for the length of the pasta square and roll it up.
• In a baking tray, add béchamel sauce and tomato passata, lay down the cannelloni on it, one beside the other and then cover again with béchamel, tomato sauce, and sprinkle with parmigiana.
• Bake for 40 minutes at medium-high temperature.
She recommends pairing the dish with the Tenute Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino 2014 (SRP: $25.99), a fruit-forward medium-bodied wine with a velvety texture or the Brunello di Montalcino 2011 (SRP $68.99), a full-bodied wine that offers intense aromas and flavors of red berries offset by notes of leather and incense.
More information about the Tenute Silvio Nardi winery, which produces finely rendered Brunellos that highlight the specific terroir of the plots where they are grown, can be found at tenutenardi.com.
This autumn, keep guests full and happy with Italian food and drink that befits the season!