I love pasta. I don’t know if it’s my Italian roots or the fact that you can put pretty much anything in it and have it taste good, or something else… whatever it is, pasta makes life better. I also love red wine. One of my favorites is Seven Deadly Zins (it’s a red zinfandel by the Lodi Brothers).
Last night I had some time to make dinner and decided that pasta was a must. I was dying to make a nice chunky tomato sauce….and that’s what I did. Here’s the recipe:
Red Zin Tomato Sauce:
serves 6 people
What you’ll need:
1 to 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium-large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
Red Zinfandel (or your favorite type of red wine)
A few basil leaves (about a tbsp.)
1 small can of tomato paste (I think it’s normally 10 oz.)
2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 package Italian Style Chicken Sausage (I use Bilinski’s-it’s pre-cooked) or your favorite kind of meat
A few good cranks of black pepper
A pinch of salt
What to do:
Chop onion, garlic, and basil. Set aside.
In a large skillet/pot, add olive oil, bring to medium heat. Add onions, cook until softened.
*Note: if you are using meat besides pre-cooked chicken sausage, cook it first, drain off any excess oils and set aside, then cook your onions*
In the mean time, chop up your chicken sausage-if you’re using it.
Add garlic and chicken sausage to the pan. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring once or twice.
Pour in can of tomatoes-do not drain!
Using your spoon, crush tomatoes up, leaving a few chunks (If you don’t like chunks, you can also puree the tomatoes before adding them to the pan.) and stir into mixture.
After a few minutes, add a few good glugs of wine (I’d say somewhere between half and three quarters of a cup) and stir.
Next, add in your can of tomato paste and the basil.
Stir the mixture until combined. Sprinkle in oregano and parsley. If needed, add salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (until some of the liquid is evaporated), stirring occasionally. *For a more intense flavor, let simmer longer-just be sure to stir once in a while to avoid burning.
Serve hot over pasta- I used whole wheat penne with milled flax seed. Top with Parmesan cheese…or maybe some of that homemade ricotta? Dream come true!
This sauce is savory enough that it can be made without meat, while still being versatile enough to pair with chicken, beef or sausage. The sky’s the limit!