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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Red wine-rosemary marinated steak and pecorino-sage creamy rigatoni & 2021 Buglioni “Il Bugiardo” Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

One of my favorite Italian varietals is the distinctive Valpolicella wine. This lovely wine hails from the foothills and valleys of the Verona province in north east Italy.

(Image courtesy of Kobrand Wine & Spirits and Cantina Buglioni)

The origins of the name “Valpolicella” is usually attributed to two types of interpretation. One traces back to the original term “Vallis Polis Cellae,” meaning “valley of many cellars.”

Another side says that the name comes from ancient Greek, translating to “land of many fruits” or “land of wonders.” I’d like to think it’s a combination of both.

The red wine known as Valpolicella is typically made from three grape varieties: Corvina, Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara.

Ripasso (meaning repassed) is a new style of Valpolicella wine that was developed in the late 20th century. With this technique, the remains of leftover grape skins and seeds from the fermentation of Recioto and Amarone are added to the batch of Valpolicella wines for a period of extended maceration.

(Image courtesy of Kobrand Wine & Spirits and Cantina Buglioni)

The result: a beautifully intense wine with elegant notes of fruit and spice, consistent from beginning to end. Truly delightful.

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Red wine-rosemary marinated skirt steak with sautéed onions and Pecorino-sage creamy rigatoni.

Wine pairing: 2021 Buglioni “Il Bugiardo” Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC (Veneto, Italy)

Serves 4



  • 1 package of rigatoni

  • 1/2 package of fresh sage (3 tablespoons)

  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)

  • 3 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

  • 2 cups of heavy cream

  • 3/4 cup grated pecorino cheese


  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh Rosemary

  • 2 lbs of skirt steak cut in 4-6 inch long pieces, scored criss-cross

  • 3 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves

  • 1 tablespoon of ground sage

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano

  • Sea salt and pepper

  • 3 cups of red wine

  • 3 large white onions, cut thick, julienne style



  • Season both sides of steak with salt, pepper, sage, pepper flakes and oregano. Place steaks in a resealable plastic bag and add olive oil, wine and garlic. Close bag and gently mix. Place bag in refrigerator and let marinade for 30-60 minutes.

  • On a large cast iron pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat and cook onions until almost translucent. Remove onions from pan and set aside (keep warm).

  • On the same cast iron pan, heat up two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Remove steaks from bag and gently place on pan. Discard bag with marinade except the garlic cloves.

  • Add garlic cloves to pan while steak is searing. Sear steak on each side for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook steak for an additional 3-5 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat. Add onions and lightly mix.


  • In small frying pan, add extra Virgin olive oil and heat up on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, gently add sage leaves and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove fire leaves and place them on a plate with paper towel to remove excess oil. Set sage leaves aside.

  • On the same frying pan heat up leftover oil on medium heat and add garlic and shallots. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and cook for 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and stir for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.

  • Boil rigatoni per package instructions.

  • On a medium sized pot, melt butter on medium high heat. Stir in garlic/shallot mixture and stir again. Add cream and slow add grated cheese, reduce heat to medium-low and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir for another 5 minutes until smooth.

  • As soon as pasta is ready, drain and add pasta and sauce to large mixing bowl or platter, ensuring pasta is well mixed with the sauce. Top with crumpled fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.

Serve it up!

Family style is the way to go for these dishes, served on platters.

Buon appetito! Enjoy!

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine…

2021 Buglioni “Il Bugiardo” Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC

(Veneto, Italy)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

Il Bugiardo means “the liar”. This wine gained its name from a critic during a blind tasting. The critic was so impressed, that he thought the Buglionis were lying about what wine he was tasting.

This wine is made from 100% estate fruit, which comes from Buglioni’s vineyards in Valpolicella Classico.

The vineyards are located at an altitude of about 495ft and consist of dark, clayey soils with a high content of gravel.

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes:

Dark ruby red color. Intense and elegant aromas of ripe fruit and spices, with a slight scent of vanilla and tobacco. Persistent and warm taste, velvety and harmonic.


60% Corvina

20% Corvinone

10% Rondinella

5% Croatina

5% Oseleta

Food pairing:

Grilled fine red meat, beef fillet, risotto, medium-high aged cheeses

Thank you to Kobrand Wine & Spirits For providing this unique wine. Grazie!

For more information, visit:


For finding and purchasing this wine, check out Kobrand Wine & Spirits’ retail locator from

Just click on the link and enter your zip code and local stores and restaurants that feature these wines will show up!

(Image courtesy of Kobrand Wine & Spirits and Cantina Buglioni)

“Wine is more of a passion for us. You have to follow nature, and you must touch everything”

- Mariano Buglioni

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