Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Food and Wine Pairing: Penne with Butter Thyme Sauce and Renzo Masi Chianti Rufina 2008

Penne with Butter Thyme Sauce

Penne with Butter Thyme Sauce

This is quite possibly the easiest thing to prepare in my (ok, limited) repertoire of recipes.  It’s awesome-ness has to do with how simple it is to make, combined with how damn good it tastes.  I make it frequently as a side dish, but on a rainy night like tonight, when I’ve had a bad day and want some easy comfort food, this is it, all by itself.  Well, itself and a bottle of Chianti, of course.

The recipe is really an adaptation of a Giada (who, her again?) recipe, Gnocchi with Butter Thyme Sauce, but as I wasn’t even near to feeling up to undertaking a homemade gnocchi project, I thought I’d cheat with my favorite pasta shape, penne.

For a simple, inexpensive wine to go with my simple, inexpensive dish, I chose the Renzo Masi Chianti Rufina 2008, which you can find locally here in Wilmington for about $11.99 retail.  I tried this wine at a tasting a week or so ago, and all I could remember about it when buying it today was what I thought at first taste:  “Hmmm, this would make a good wine for a very basic, unfancy pasta dish.”  And so it does.

Wine Notes

Renzo Masi Chianti 2008

Renzo Masi Chianti 2008

None, really. Sorry. But it’s a $12 Chianti, I bought it from a trusted source, and it definitely gets the job done, i.e., it’s not going to W-O-W you, but it is the perfect accompaniment to this pasta dish, and would be really excellent with a tomato-based pasta dish.  In fact, I wish I had some tomatoes to add to the penne tonight, but alas, it’s raining cats and dogs out, and I refuse to leave the warmth and wine and music and go out for some.

It would also be very nice with a tomato-sauce based pizza.  I could see it going perfectly with a simple tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza, for example.



Recipe:  Penne with Butter Thyme Sauce


· ½ cup unsalted butter
· 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
· 1 box penne pasta
· Salt and pepper
· Parmesan cheese, for grating on finished pasta


· Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package directions.
· Meanwhile, cook the butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
· Remove from heat.  Add the thyme leaves. Set aside.�
· Drain pasta when finished cooking, add to the hot thyme-butter in the skillet.  Toss to coat.
· Add salt and pepper to taste.
· Add grated parmesan cheese and serve.


· ½ cup of butter may seem like a lot, and granted, it kind of was, but I was using the instructions from the Gnocchi with Butter Thyme Sauce recipe, so I’m sure that had something to do with it.  Maybe gnocchi soaks up more butter.  In any case, you can reduce the amount if you’re so inclined.

See, how easy was that?!


Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Propeller
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitthis

About The Author

Kimberly Houston


Leave a Reply