Pasta in the Pink: A Harms’ Family Classic Recipe

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

We have been posting stories, recipes, cocktails and more all year long, but we had yet to focus on the Paterfamilias, Founder and Fearless Leader the Union Family… Ryan Harms. We asked Ryan how we could get him involved and he suggested sharing a classic family recipe that he makes often with his sons, Noah and Ethan. Ryan also personally cooks and serves this dish every year to his harvest crew.

In Ryan’s own words, “I worked at Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island, during the summer of 1998. This is where I learned to make grilled pizza’s and this recipe comes from my experience there. Working there was transformational for me in getting a great base of cooking. They were doing farm to table before that was even a term. George and Joan created an amazing culture that continues on today.”

This particular recipe that Ryan adopted, ‘Shells Baked with Tomato, Cream and 5 Cheeses’ makes use of a basic but delicious tomato sauce base that was used in many of the Al Forno dishes. By adding a bounty of fresh cheeses and herbs, this simple pasta dish turns into something amazing. Its an easy recipe once you get the technique down, which we will happily guide you through…

Before any of the prep begins, preheat your oven to 500 degrees and get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Ryan specifically uses two different cans of tomatoes, one whole peeled and the other crushed. He begins by sautéing 4 cloves of garlic in a pan, and just as they start to brown, he adds a 1/2 C of chicken stock and a 1/2 C of Kings Ridge Pinot Gris.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

As this cooks, Ryan’s son Noah opens the two cans of tomatoes into a large bowl, adds the garlic and liquid (once it has come to room temperature) and gently mashes it all together.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Union Wine Co Pasta in the PInk

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Once the sauce is well blended, Ryan adds the following cheeses:

¾ c freshly grated Pecorino Romano
¾ c coarsely shredded fontina
4 tbsp. crumbled gorgonzola
2 tbsp fresh ricotta

Keep this separate to top the dishes before baking:
2 small (4 oz. total) balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Then Ryan’s younger son, Ethan steps in and mixes all the cheeses as well as 2 C of heavy cream into the sauce, giving it a distinctive pink hue.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

As this is being done, Ryan chops:

1 small bunch of italian parsley
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
8-10 springs of fresh thyme

This gets mixed into the sauce.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

He also chops 4 scallions on a hard bias (diagonal cut) and places in ice water to keep from wilting. This will be the final garnish on the pasta.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Once all the prep is done, Ryan adds 1 pound of pasta shells to the boiling water and par cooks for five minutes. Immediately strain and add all the pasta to the sauce.

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Union Wine Co Pasta in the PInk

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Ryan then mixes the shells until fully coated in the sauce and cheese mix. Then he scoops into a large baking dish or several small ceramic dishes for individual servings. He tops each one with a thick slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and a few small dabs of butter. Bake for 10 minutes or until the pasta starts to crisp on top.

Remove the pasta, allow to sit for 5 minutes, garnish with the fresh scallions and dig in!

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

The finished product is nothing short of amazing!

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Everyone in the Harms family: Kathleen, baby Mia, Noah, Ryan and Ethan wish you a hearty Bon Appétit!

Union Wine Co Pasta in the Pink

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Recipe by Ryan Harms (@harmsryan)

Creating the Perfect Springtime Cocktail

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

There is a particular Portland phenomenon we have been noticing for years. Every Spring there is one weekend when, with no conscious cues or communication, everyone in town decides it’s time to cut their lawn. It’s that first perfect weekend, when the rain has let up, the grass is a little too tall and healthy, and so the ol’ lawnmower gets dusted off, gassed up—or charged up (it is Portland after all)—and put to the task.

During that weekend, all of Portland is filled with that unmistakably sweet, musky scent of freshly cut grass. The kids are playing in the yard, the parks are full and Spring has officially Sprung.

Enter Lucas Plant, bartender and cook extraordinaire, Navy man, father, and all-around charming guy. Lucas has worked at many of the best spots in Portland from Clyde Common to Central to Oven & Shaker. Currently, Lucas is a “Luxury Spirits Broker” for Coastal Pacific, but he is also part owner of Bull In China. We asked Lucas to create a cocktail that captured the happiness of the first weekend of Spring and all the nostalgic flavors it evokes.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail
Lucas set to the task and concocted an intriguing cocktail, (whose name, coincidentally, originated from the memoir, ‘I Couldn’t Smoke the Grass on my Fathers Lawn” by Charlie Chaplin’s son, Michael.)

Grass Clippings

3 1/2 oz Kings Ridge Riesling
1/2 oz Bee Local Honey Water
1/2 teaspoon Bee Local Bee Pollen
1/2 teaspoon Steven Smith Powdered Matcha Tea No. 7

STEP ONE: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

Lucas uses a professional bar spoon, but a 1/2 teaspoon measure works just as well.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP TWO: Shake like your life depends on it!

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP 3: Strain (to remover solids) into another shaker with no ice.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP FOUR: Shake again as if your life depends on it. This step is very important as it aerates the liquid and releases all the pollen and matcha flavors.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP FIVE: Pour into a chilled coupe glass and enjoy.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

Many thanks to Lucas for lending his time and talents to this post. And, if you dig the custom apron he is sporting, check out Portlands own OROX Leathers.

Also, head over to Bull In China for all your professional (and unprofessional) bar accoutrements.

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Keeping the Portland Airwaves Free: Freeform Portland Radio 90.3 FM

Freeform Portland Radio

Here at Union Wine Co. we think of ourselves as more of a family than just a place of work. We try to encourage and support everyone in their passions and side projects.

Allow us to introduce Amy Carr. By day, Amy is the Logistics and Compliance/Customer Service Supervisor. She has been a part of the Union Wine Company family for about 5 years, beginning at Amity Vineyards before moving over full-time to UWCo.

When Amy was only 12 years old, her father gave her a copy of Nick Hornby’s (best) novel High Fidelity, which introduced her to a main character who is always striving to share the classic music he loves and the new bands he discovers. And so, a seed was planted…

Fast Forward to early 2015. A few of Amy’s friends decided to found Freeform Portland, an entirely independent, community-sponsored, non-profit, freeform radio station. Going live the following year, they broadcast on 90.3 and also 98.3 FM from the NE Alberta Area. Officially they are a “low-power” FM station; their radio broadcast range is only about 5 square miles, but, lucky for us, we live in the digital age so everyone can enjoy their full array of programming at FreeformPortland.org/listen.

Freeform Portland Radio

The DJs are free to play music from records, tapes, CDs or digital files. There are no commercials or talk programs. Generally, the only speaking you will hear are the DJs identifying their chosen songs during music set breaks, although there are some great “in studio” band interviews from time to time. All songs from every show are also listed on their website.

Freeform Portland Radio

Two amazing things that FFP can boast are, 1., it is absolutely 100% volunteer run, and 2., it is absolutely 100% live programming, meaning no prerecorded shows. There is a live DJ playing music in the booth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Freeform Portland Radio

At the station, Amy goes by the handle DJ Stellar Luna. Her show, “Nightlight” runs on alternating Mondays from 10 PM to midnight. Amy’s playlist differs every week focusing mostly on Neo Psychedelia, New Wave, Hip-Hop and Latin. Asked what some of her favorite bands are, Amy mentioned, in no particular order:

La Femme (which she plays at least one song by during every show)
Bomba Estereo
LCD Soundsystem
Thee Oh Sees
Echo & the Bunnymen

Amy was drawn to the radio station for many of the same reasons that she was drawn to Union Wine Co.—each puts a great emphasis on authenticity and a truly meaningful reflection of the community.

Freeform Portland Radio

Freeform Portland Radio

As you might imagine, the broadcast booth is small but is filled with all sorts of amazing music, movie and cultural paraphernalia.

Freeform Portland Radio

Freeform Portland Radio

Recently we asked Amy to create our first official Spotify profile, beginning with a Union Wine Co. playlist, a constantly growing curated mix.

In addition, Amy has created playlists to match the vibe of our three labels:

UNDERWOOD (aka the party) playlist
KINGSRIDGE (aka the adult hipster) playlist
ALCHEMIST (aka the sexy) playlist

Subscribe to them all now so you have the perfect soundtrack the next time you are enjoying our wines!

Freeform Portland Radio

We want to thank Amy for sharing her time and passion with us, and allowing us a small glimpse into the amazing world of Freeform Portland. Hopefully this will inspire you to check out some of their programming.

Freeform Portland Radio

Text and Photos by David L. Reamer (@dlreamer)

(Amy’s IG is @amycoche)

10 Things I Learned Working Harvest

saraintern

Did you know that wineries produce an entire year’s wine vintage in just a two month window of grape harvesting? If mother nature doesn’t cooperate, the fruit isn’t picked at the right time, or we get off schedule, things might go awry.

Because of that, Union Wine Company (and most wineries around the world) hire Harvest Interns, the miracle workers that help ensure our harvest runs smoothly. Working directly alongside our winemakers and our production team, this year’s team of 30 Harvest Interns have watched fruit turn to wine (and everything in between).

We asked Sarah Richins, Union Wine Company Harvest Intern, to tell us all about her harvest experience. Without further ado, we’ll let Sarah take it from here.

I started at Union Wine Company last month to work my first ever harvest. We have interns from Chile, Brazil, South Africa, and even Ireland – it is amazing to hear people’s stories and what drew them to working a harvest in Oregon.

Since I started, I have gone from terrified of driving a forklift to operating all kinds of machinery like a pro, I have dug out a tank full of grapes in less than three hours, and I have newfound respect for how much work it takes to craft the perfect Pinot.

Here’s some more things I have learned while crushing the 2018 harvest.

  1. I am way stronger than I think.
  2. Forklifting is like riding a bike – you have to keep practicing, and after you haven’t been on it for a while you can pick it up again (sometimes after a few failed attempts).
  3. Getting dirty is fun, and definitely part of the process – so get ready and always bring a change of clothes.
  4. It’s always important to ask for help. You have to know what you’re doing first in order to execute it properly later.
  5. Staying up until 3AM with coworkers is OK – we all need nights out to dance away to 60s/70s funk. Plus, we work the swing shift, so 3AM is the new 10PM.
  6. Food tastes better after working a harvest. The amount of food I consume now is the same as when I was training for a marathon.
  7. There is no bond like a harvest shift bond. Nothing beats co-workers turned friends.
  8. It’s okay if you have a bad day where nothing seems to be going right – we ALL have those days. Just remember that it will get better and keep your attitude high.
  9. I am even more obsessed with wine than I was before and can’t wait to continue to learn and grow in this field.
  10. Your hands will be dyed purple forever – get used to it.

If you want to learn more about the winemaking process, or just want a killer upper body, I highly recommend working a harvest at Union Wine Co. I can guarantee you will never take happy hour for granted again.

Editor’s Note: if you are interested in working next year’s harvest, please contact ellie@unionwinecompany.com. 

 

Grilled Pizza Cook-off 2.0

There is a tradition at Union Wine Company that involves two tenacious competitors and a heck of a lot of dough. It rolls around every 2-3 years, similar to snowfall in Portland, and like snow after a month of solid rain, it is warmly welcomed by all.

We’re talking about the (Sometimes) Bi-annual Grilled Pizza Cook-Off. The humble but hardy contestants include Ryan Harms, our owner, and JP Caldcleugh, our winemaker. JP took the cake in the last cook-off, and after a couple years of regrouping, Ryan was ready for a comeback.*

Each contender put a lot of heart into their homemade dishes. Ryan devised a signature sauce with hand torn tomatoes that kept us coming back for slice…after slice…after slice. JP concocted a prosciutto pie that featured pizza’s best friend: basil, fresh from the Amity Vineyards garden.

As per tradition, the entire Union team gathered in the winery parking lot to do the real hard work – judging the pizzas. Everyone loves a good comeback story, and in true Hollywood fashion this year’s pizza crowning went to Ryan.

However, with full bellies and faces adorned in post-pizza glow, it was agreed that we all truly won the grilled pizza cook-off.

*Or, our Director of Finance Eric was just in the mood for pizza.

 

Photography by David L. Reamer