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Pumpkin Ravioli with Sausage and Amaretto Cream Sauce and a Not-So-Brunello Wine #ItalianFWT

We at the #ItalianFWT group (Food Wine Travel) are studying what Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm calls the Three Big B's of Italy: Brunello, Barbaresco, and Barolo.  We are starting with Brunello, one of Tuscany's most revered wines.

Brunello has a formal name, Brunello di Montalcino. The wines come from a hilltop town located in the province of Siena, in the Tuscan Hills.  Brunello is a variety of Sangiovese grapes, called Sandiovese Grosso.  The grapes are large, with thick skins, high tannins, and acidity.  To earn the Brunello label, the grapes must come from the vineyards around Montalcino.  The wine must be 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes, bottled and produced in the town.  There are rules for aging, too, the wine has to age a minimum of 24 months in barrels and 4 months in bottles, and before it can be released, it must age for 5 years.  All this accounts for the high price per bottle.

I wish I had been better prepared when I purchased my bottle. I had researched the vineyards and when I have found a bottle from Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona for $15, I couldn't believe my luck! I should have known better, being too good to be true. It wasn't. 

My bottle turned out to be the IGT Toscana Rosso, which basically means that the grapes here are grown super close to the Brunello region, but not quite close enough to get the Brunello name. I was swayed by the description, but I didn't read it close enough. Here is where I made my mistake:

"This multifaceted wine is suited to day-to-day drinking, easily matched with all foods, full-bodied thanks to the blend of the grapes used. The Sangiovese Grosso into this IGT comes from the youngest plots close to the vineyards dedicated to the production of Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG."  

So what to do?  I decided to go ahead and write about my experience with this bottle of wine, as the Ciacci Piccolomini d' Aragona produces some of the nicest Brunello wine. This bottle lived up to the expectations that I had for it, it was extremely delicious, fruity, lightly herbal, and enriched by hints of spices. This wine is ready for drinking, full-bodied, quite soft, and balanced. Served with our pumpkin ravioli dish, it was quite wonderful.

I'll continue to look for an affordable Brunello and probably will learn of one with the intelligent members of the #ItalianFWT.  I cannot wait to read their posts.

On to the dish.  Here we made no mistakes. This delicious, easy-to-make dish was over-the-top good and with the Not-So-Brunello wine, made a fantastic fall Sunday lunch.

Yield: 2
Author: Terri Steffes
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sausage and Amaretto Cream Sauce

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sausage and Amaretto Cream Sauce

This delicious dish was made with store-purchased pumpkin ravioli from Aldi.


  • 1 pkg of pumpkin ravioli, purchased from Aldi
  • 1/2 lb loose Italian sausage, fried and drained
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 oz. Amaretto 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  1. Prepare ravioli according to package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan.
  3. Cook garlic and onion in oil until tender.
  4. Add Amaretto and cook until reduced by half.
  5. Add chicken stock and cook until reduced by half.
  6. Add cream and cook until thickened. 
  7. Divide ravioli between two dishes, top with sauce, Italian sausage and chopped chives.  Serve warm.
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More big Brunello wine posts!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I'm glad you still joined us and I am happy to know of a wine in the area that can be enjoyed young at a more moderate price point.

  2. That dinner looks delicious and, yes, close to Brunello works for me! Glad you joined us.

  3. So close! Glad the wine worked out anyway. The dish sounds and looks super delish!

  4. Well even though it wasn't a Brunello, it still sounds like you made a nice discovery. Great QPR on this one. And I am sooo going to try my hand at the recipe. Sounds perfect for fall.

  5. Your ravioli sound delicious and it sounds like the wine was a great value.


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