Lamb Ravioli with truffles, paired with Barbera di Asti. Yummy plus a James Beard recipe you should try!

To the experts, Piedmont is Italy’s gold standard for Italian wine as well as food and pairing. 

Piedmont as an entire region is built economically and socially  by the wine industry. The region has but one major industry and that is comprised of every aspect of the process of making wine. From farming to seed, to bottling and selling and everything in between this is the source of life and existence. 
A few highlights of Piedmont include white truffle “hunting” with specially trained truffle sniffing dogs. It is more like foraging or playing hide and seek; as one has a good general idea as to where truffles may grow (under the roots of certain trees) however finding the truffles is no doubt a challenge.
One of our favorite dishes from this region is Ravioli with truffles, butter, and lamb, an austere dish yet the finished product is complex, deep and has many layers of flavors. 
We would pair this either with a Piedmont Chardonnay (white) or our preference would be a nice Barbera (red) from the Peidmont region. 
Recently we sampled Mora di Sassi, Nizza, Barbera di Asti Malgra’ superior DOC, 2003 impeccably paired with the Ravioli, white truffle and lamb dish. The wine is made with 100% Barbera grapes within the Nizza growing appellation; the name refers to the stone walls (Morra di Sassi) which  are terraces built among cliffs, mountains and steep hills in an effort to utilize and maximize the yield of the land. These stone terraces act as the grape growing fields and the combination of cliffs and terraces produce a very ripe, flavorful fruit. 
-Interesting Fact: Much folklore and mystery goes into wine making perhaps as much if not more than actual  science and Piedmont does not disappoint. An interesting fact is that the Piedmontese people are known to fire cannons into the clouds in order to somehow break up or eliminate hail.
In any event Piedmont holds many interesting and compelling wines and foods for exploration and experimentation, enjoy the “hunt”.
-Piedmont wine and food pairing recipe and suggestion:
To make Ravioli dough see our recipe library at 
Please refrigerate dough before use roll out into sheets of medium  thickness (a 5 on our pasta maker), then cut with a serrated pasta cutter into 1 1/2 in ch squares.
In the meantime take lamb shanks (about 2 pounds bought from your local, trusted butcher or high end specialty store or Italian market)  make sure to salt and pepper lamb; then in a saucepan with butter and a little extra virgin olive oil add lamb,  cook on all sides until slightly brown; remove lamb and set aside. Next add 3 tablespoons of butter and 1-2 sage leaves, salt and pepper to saucepan then add a handful of chopped porcini and baby belle mushrooms and finely chopped carrots; allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes then add 2-3 finely chopped truffles, and let cook about two minutes, then add 1 cup white Italian wine (Pinot Grigio). 
While this cooks over low heat cut lamb from bone and cut into small pieces. Add lamb into saucepan with 3 tablespoons of butter. Let cook additional 5-7 minutes then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 1 hour) then cover and refrigerate 1 hour. 
Remove from refrigerator and mix, then take a tablespoon and add a dollop of the mixture onto each prepared ravioli square, remember to reserve half of the squares so that you can press the filled squares with the empty squares to form the ravioli. Simply place tops on each filled square and press firmly around the edge using just enough pressure to seal. 
Boil salted water in a pasta pot and drop in the ravioli for about 5 minutes or so, then strain and top with fresh melted butter and a drizzle of Truffle oil and a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. 
Serve immediately with a nice bottle of red Italian wine, try the Barbera we suggest as it really enhanced the dish.
Good luck and be sure to send us a video of you “starring” in your own cooking show!
The following is a great recipe from James Beard (award winning recipes):

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