It’s finally winter in Perth, a fact that is more exaggerated by our very cold house. My always sexy thermal underwear and big woolly socks have made their way into regular rotation and we are looking for any excuse to cook something in the oven for a house-warming treat.
It’s this train of thought that lead me to making pasta for dinner with a tomato and roasted capsicum sauce. I served it up with a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru, a pairing that was oh-so-delightful and made me wish I had purchased more than a single bottle of Grand Cru. Total rookie mistake.
The pasta was a nice simple dinner well suited to both our lazy Saturday night and our desire to turn the oven on and warm up the house.
350g Passata (fresh tomato puree), I used the jar stuff cause it was cheap but you can make your own too!
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 small brown onion, diced
1 red capsicum
1 red chilli, finely diced
Approximately 250g diced button mushrooms
10-12 Kalamatta Olives and handful Sun Dried Tomatoes
Sherry Vinegar and Tomato Paste
Fresh or dried herbs like oregano, thyme and basil
Shaved Pecorino or Parmesan and fresh basil for serving
taste.com.au – How to Roast Capsicum – I sliced the capsicum first cause it seemed easier
Set oven on high (220-250C), cut sides of capsicum and discard middle. Place pieces on baking paper, skin side up and roast until skin blackens a little.
Meanwhile, heat pan with olive oil then add onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes before adding mushrooms and chilli. When mushrooms have started to cook through add passata. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
When your capsicum is done peel the skin away (tongs are good here unless you have amazing heat resistant hands), roughly dice and add to sauce. Tear up olives, slice sun dried tomatoes and add to sauce.
Stir and taste as you go, add your desired amount of sherry vinegar and tomato paste. I added a generous lashing of both but it depends on your taste buds. Stir through fresh herbs.
Heap sauce onto cooked pasta and top with shaved peccorino and torn fresh basil just before serving.
Brouwerij Rodenbach: Belgium | Est. 1836 | There are more than 300 oak vats in their 11 maturation halls with the oldest vat dating back to 1868
I have to say that this worked beautifully with the soft acidity in the Rodenbach Grand Cru, a Flanders Red Ale from Belgium. . In short, it’s awesome. Wildly complex and utterly engaging, it’s a soft rounded vinegar acidity with a dark fruit sweetness.
“The brewers, indifferent as ever to attempts at categorisation, prefer to refer to their beers as the “Burgundies of Belgium.””
Garrett Oliver, The Brewmaster’s Table
Rather than going head to head, the acidity from the beer melds perfectly with that from the pasta sauce. I found that even though I only used a dash, albeit it a big dash, of sherry vinegar the Grand Cru was able to pull it out from the dish and really highlight the flavour. There is also a nice sweet/salt contrast with the olives and Grand Cru.
“The brewery is like a great monument to the art of beer-making,”
Michael Jackson, Great Beers of Belgium
Overall it was magical, a really simple pasta dish and a pairing you can whip together on any given night.
For more sour and wild beer pairings, check out this great article from the US at CraftBeer.com by Ashley Routson aka The Beer Wench