Epicurean Charlotte

Food & Wine Magazine


March/April Recipes

pappardelle with veal and pork ragu courtesy of wente brothers winery

• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 4 oz pancetta, diced
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• 12 oz shitake mushrooms, woody stems removed & discarded, caps sliced
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 small carrot, diced
• 1 celery rib, diced
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
• kosher salt & fresh pepper
• 1 large tomato, diced
• 8 oz ground veal
• 8 oz ground pork
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• ½ c white wine
• 1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes (28-ounce)
• 1 lb dried pappardelle pasta
• ½ c heavy cream
• 3 tbsp basil leaves, sliced

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the butter. Stir in the mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the diced tomato and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the veal and pork. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the canned tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes; stir occasionally. 

When ready to serve, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, stir the cream into the sauce, lower the heat, and cook 5 minutes more. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well. Serve garnished with basil.

shrimp fra diavolo
luke mcmahon, sous chef • childress winery


• 12 16/20-size shrimp,cleaned and de-tailed
• 10 oz dried fettuccine pasta
• 8 oz marinara
• 4 oz shrimp stock
• ¼ c cherry peppers, rough chopped
• 2 tsp ricotta cheese
• 1 tsp olive oil
• ½ c hydroponic watercress

marinara ingredients:
• 24 oz can whole peeled san marzana tomatoes
• 12 oz can tomato puree
• 12 oz water
• 1 medium vidalia onion, small diced
• 2 tsp butter
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 2 tsp oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp fennel seed
• ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 c childress vineyards sangiovese
• ¼ c fresh basil leaves

For Marinara: In a large stockpot sweat onion in 2 tbsp butter over medium-low heat until soft and translucent. Add brown sugar and dried herbs, stirring constantly until very aromatic. Deglaze with Sangiovese and reduce by 3/4. Add tomatoes and water, season to taste with salt/pepper. Simmer on low for several hours, until the sauce has reduced by 1/3, flavors have come together and sauce has developed a deep, rich red color. 

For Pasta: Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add dried pasta and cook until al dente (6-8 minutes, pasta should still have a little bite to it).

For Fra Diavolo Sauce: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté shrimp in 1 tbsp olive oil until around 50 percent cooked through. Add cherry peppers, marinara, stock and cooked pasta to the pan. Heat thoroughly until shrimp are completely cooked. Season to taste with salt/pepper. Add more stock if necessary (consistency of sauce should be more on the brothy side). Garnish with watercress and ricotta cheese. Serve immediately.