A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir & Ziti

A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir
90 Points Wine Spectator – Vivid fruit and full tannins define the 2011 A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir. Fresh aromas of lush forest berries and cherries are followed by more savory aromatics of tobacco, smoke, game, clean earth and flint. In the mouth, a focused attack of concentrated red and blue fruits grows in complexity on the mid-palate with ripe, dense tannins perfectly supported by the weight of the fruit. The wine completely harmonizes with a long finish of complex red fruit and mineral flavors.

Ziti with Portobello Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese
Hearty mushrooms are enhanced by sweet caramelized onions and just enough tangy melted goat cheese in this delicious pasta dish. (Serves 4)

2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound ziti
3 ounces soft goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved onions, the parsley, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water and drain. Toss the ziti and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water with the mushroom mixture, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the goat cheese, and the Parmesan. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve with additional Parmesan.