Sunday, October 7, 2012

Red Wine Pasta Sauce

I told you I would be sharing my pasta secrets slowly.

This is a sauce I developed on my own, using a nice red wine as the base. Most people do not realize that a little wine will bring out much more flavor from tomatoes than water ever will. Which in turn makes this sauce much richer and full of flavor. Plus the wine itself allows for a nice subtle hint in the sauce that will make any dish seem new and exciting. Worried that the wine will get you drunk? Don't worry, the alcohol cooks out during the process, leaving only the sweet flavor of the wine behind in the sauce. This is a sauce that requires a slow cooker, so you may wish to start it late in the morning.

1 Cup of your favorite Port wine
4 Roma Tomatoes
12 Cherry Tomatoes
4 Large Sandwich (Beefsteak) Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1/2 Cup finely diced Shallots
4-5 Chopped up button mushrooms
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Pinot Grigio
1 TSP Butter or Margarine
1 TSP Rosemary
1 TSP Thyme
1 TSP Sage
14-16 Ounces of Canned Tomato Sauce
Black Pepper

1: Chop up tomatoes into 1/4 inch cubes the best you can, and place into a crock pot or slow cooker with the red wine, basil, and canned tomato sauce. Stir together before setting the cooking temperature to high and then cover.

2: Using some kind of seasoning grinder, such as a mortar and pestle, mix together the rosemary, thyme, sage, and a pinch of black pepper. Combine with the olive oil and mix together thoroughly then set aside until the end of step 3.

3: In a frying pan, melt down the butter and add the Pinot Grigio, the shallots, garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until shallots and garlic brown lightly and remove from heat. Add the olive oil and herbs to the pan, and toss gently together until well blended.

4: Stir the contents of the frying pan into the slow cooker. Place the lid onto the crock pot and allow to cook on high until boiling, then reduce temperature setting to low, and simmer for 4 hours.

5: When the sauce is almost done simmering, prepare any pastas, meats, or other ingredients you desire to serve with this sauce. Serve hot and enjoy.

Another option is to place the mixture into canning jars and seal them for later. Once the sauce is done cooking, you may salt and pepper to taste, but I leave it as is and let people add to it once it is plated.

This is the tasty sauce I pair with my Chicken Parmesan Ravioli and a nice glass of Petit Verdot to round out a great evening meal. I also like to serve this meal with a side of lightly toasted buttered garlic bread. Remember the alcohol in the wine will cook out, so there is no worry about "falling off the wagon" or getting drunk off this sauce. Topped with fresh mozzarella or asiago cheese makes for a lovely addition to round out a delicate and delicious dish made with this sauce.

~Bon Appétit~

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