Photo: Matt Cortina
Photo: Matt Cortina

Tannins Restaurant and Wine Bar,  27211 Ortega Highway,  San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.8466

Thanks be to the genius who long ago discovered that the texture and flavors of sausage and peppers make beautiful food music when combined. Whether they’re placed in a ball park hoagie, dropped in soup or a broken down in a patiently made ragù , the two complement each other and round out a balanced bite no matter the form in which they are served.

Tannins serves their take with penne pasta in a spicy arrabiatta sauce, with slices of fennel-heavy sausage, al dente bell peppers and simmered onions. It makes for a casual and well-proportioned lunch. The sausage is robust yet light, the sauce is bright and acidic, the peppers are slightly sweet and the sauce is seasoned expertly—it’s a balanced bite, and the dish is fleeting because it’s hard to put the fork down. — Matt Cortina

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