With the cooler weather starting to set in, the desire for warmer foods increases. While summer is full of cooler foods like salads, cold seafood and barbequed meats, winter eating involves more dishes that warm the soul like soups and slow roasted meats and vegies. We’ve put together the perfect guide for your food and wine matching this season.
Chef to the stars and Lantern Club’s very own food and beverage expert John Lanzafame has cooked heart-warming meals almost his entire life. His love for cooking was instilled in him very early on by his southern Italian parents who share the same passion for cuisine as he does.
John was kind enough to share with us four amazing dishes from his book ‘Family Italian’ so you can make an awesome Autumn meal at home. Even better, he’s made the food and wine matching much easier by giving us his personal choices, turning the complete meal into an amazing culinary experience.

Here are John’s favourite four Autumn food and wine matches:

Food: Potato and pork belly soup

Potato and pork belly soup
Wine pairing: 2010 Chianti DOCG Sangiovese Chianti from Italy
Description: “A diced and braised pork belly and potato soup with the addition of pastina cooked in the broth to thicken it up. Finish it with a drizzle of olive oil. Absolutely delicious.”
Wine matching comments: “This dish is perfect with a lighter red. The king and most well-rounded table wine with dinner in my eyes is the 2010 Chianti DOCG Sangiovese Chianti from Italy.”


Potato & Pork Belly Broth
Serves 6
60ml olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
200g boneless pork belly, skin on, cut into 1cm cubes
3 garlic cloves, diced
650g desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm slices
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres chicken stock
100g pastina (see note)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Ciabatta bread to serve
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and pork belly and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the onion is just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is just lightly browned.
Add the potato and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart.
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the pastina, stir well and simmer until al dente. Ladle into bowls, drizzle over a little of the extra virgin olive oil and serve with slices of the ciabatta on the side.
NOTE: Pastina is any small pasta usually used for soups. It’s available from good Italian delis.

Food: Risotto with braised veal skirt

Risotto with braised veal skirt- food and wine matching
Wine pairing: 2014 Black Sheep Syrah Kavala from Greece
Description: “Braised pulled veal skirt combined and cooked with rice all in the same pot, now that truly is a one pot wonder. So easy to make and even better when topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.”
Wine matching comments: “Try it with a glass of 2014 Black Sheep Syrah Kavala as it’s amazing with risotto and the infusion of veal.”


Risotto with Braised Veal Skirt
Serves 6
60ml olive oil
400g piece of veal skirt
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small stalk celery, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
150g pancetta, cut into 1cm pieces
250ml red wine
800g tinned, chopped tomatoes
1 litre veal stock
300g vialone nano rice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based ovenproof saucepan over medium high-high heat. Cook the veal until browned all over. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and stir until well coloured.
Add the pancetta and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the base with a wooden spoon to remove any cooked-on pieces. Simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated. Add the tomato and stock, reduce the heart to as low as possible, cover and simmer for 3 hours or until the veal is meltingly tender. Remove the veal skirt from the pan, using 2 forks, and shred the meat. Return the meat to the pan.
Preheat the oven to 150°. Add the rice to the pan, stir well, cover again and bake for 25 minutes or until the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, stir in the extra virgin olive oil, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and spoon onto flat serving plate.

Food: Lamb chops in red wine

Lamb chops in red wine
Wine pairing: 2014 Barbera di Alba Piemonte Italy
Description: “Blackened lamb chops simmered in red wine and potatoes flavoured with burnt rosemary is a great cold weather dish.”
Wine matching comments: “I recommend a glass of Barbera di Alba. No words can describe this wine other than it is just amazing with any red meat.”


Lamb chops in red wine
Serves 4-6
60ml olive oil
8 French shallots, halved if large
12 lamb loin chops
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
60g green olives
250ml red wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
50g butter, chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cook the shallots for 6-8 minutes or until golden, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining oil and cook the lamb chops, in batches, until browned on both sides. Add the garlic, rosemary and olives and stir until the fragrance begins to waft up. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low, return the shallots to the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and serve.

Food: Polenta with puttanesca sauce

Polenta with puttanesca sauce
Wine pairing: 2011 Mazzon Pinot Noir
Description: “For the fish lovers, a light polenta with snapper gently seared in butter, finished with caper, anchovy and tomato broth.”
Wine matching comments: “Pinot Noir matches a light tangy salty broth beautifully.”


Polenta with puttanesca sauce
Serves 4
4 small snapper fillets (about 120g each) skin on
60ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
60g pitted green olives
15 salted baby capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon confit red chilli
5 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 quantity basic polenta
Poor man’s parmesan, to serve
Season the snapper to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the snapper fillets, skin side down, for 3 minutes, without moving or until crisp. Turn and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan, set aside and keep warm. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the olives, capers, confit chilli, anchovies and parsley and stir for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomato and simmer for 5 minutes or until the tomato starts to break down. Season to taste, then add the snapper and simmer until just heated through.
Serve the snapper and sauce on top of the polenta and scatter with the poor man’s parmesan.
If you’re not up for your own food and wine matching, all wines listed above are available in the Lantern Club Reward Shop for you to enjoy with your MàZi meal. Next time you visit us, ask our friendly team how you can choose one of our hundreds of wines on offer and take it with you into our restaurant to enjoy with family or friends. You can redeem bottles with your Rewards Points.