Italians don’t take tradition lightly, especially when it comes to the kitchen. A great chef and the fundamentals of cooking are all well and fine, but without centuries of evolution and experience, Italian cuisine cannot be mastered.Traditional Italian recipes are generally rooted in darker times such as those of famine and world wars, when no one could afford to throw away even the smallest morsel of food. This could be one of the reasons that Italians have such esteem for food, and it is surely the reason for how some of the more traditional dishes came about. We all know that pasta is synonymous with Italian food, and there is good reason for this as well – wheat is a great raw food which can be stored for a long time and allows for substantial nourishment, which prolongs hunger and satiates the appetite. Combinations are inevitable and bread and wine became symbols of Italy. Here are a few traditional dishes and wine pairings that we propose.Pasta & Potatoes | Wine Pairing Dogajolo RossoA few gastronomic critics may turn their noses up at the idea of serving the traditional dish of potatoes and pasta with a fine wine. Two starches in one dish? Yes. This traditional dish once served a very noble purpose – to nurture and satiate the belly all day long, thanks to its substantial structure. Over time this dish has evolved, with a few extra ingredients such as adding smoked provola cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano with a bit of black pepper. Whatever the case, the important thing to remember about this dish is that you need to sauté an onion well before adding your potatoes. This will give that wonderful, necessary aroma to the dish. The sweetness of the onion and structure of the starches, make this a perfect dish to pair with a medium-bodied young red wine, where tannins are present and velvety. This is a great dish to pair with a Carpineto Dogajolo! Polenta | Wine Pairing Nobile di MontepulcianoPotatoes and pasta are quite common in Italy, especially in Campania and Apulia, but the further up north you go, the more you find polenta on the menu. Polenta is a derivative of corn flour and is quite popular especially in the Veneto region. This is a staple food of the area which is traditionally cooked in boiling water in a copper pot. Polenta is usually topped with mushrooms, game, sausage, melted cheese or anything which elevates the dish as a sauce. If you are topping your polenta with game, a great wine pairing is the Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva whose structure is perfect with the succulence of this dish. The combo offers a perfect balance on the palate. Florentine Tripe | Wine Pairing Chianti Classico RiservaCentral Italy is quite famous for its traditional dishes, one of which is the Florentine tripe from Tuscany. It is a common dish which includes ingredients such as fried onions, carrots, celery and garlic. The tripe is also sautéed in this mixture, then covered with tomato and cooked over low heat until a hearty sauce is created. The dish is generally sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano which will add a slightly savory note. This heavy dish is not the easiest to pair with wine. The richness, structure and acidity of the tomato as well as the sweetness of the tripe and flavor of the cheese makes a perfect union and one that needs a perfect pairing. A wine pairing that works well with this dish is one that is versatile and balanced such as a Chianti Classico Riserva which offers floral and fruity notes, and a spiced roundness.