Monday, January 18, 2010

Yin-Yang Pasta: Red and White Wine Sauces

Howdy, and a happy MLK day to all! (I attempted to contrive some sort of segue from that into talking about the food, but it sounded too stupid to even come off as ironic, so I say again unto you, happy MLK day, and I'll leave it at that!)

Today I bring to you two twin recipes, born of the same stock (that is, my brain), which shall... I entirely forgot where I was going with that sentence. In fact, almost everything I've tried to type in the way of an introduction I've just deleted immediately afterward. The little people managing my brain would like to apologize for the lack of coherence, and assure you my ability to communicate will be restored shortly.

In the meantime, here are the recipes.

Red and White Wine Pasta Sauces

1 lb pasta (I used mostaccioli for the red and lemon pepper papardelle for the white)
olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced (I used red for the red and white for the white :) )
10-15 mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
basil and oregano

1/3 cup red wine of your choice
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 healthy glug of balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup white wine of your choice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced

Music Listened To:
I don't actually remember what it was, but there is indeed a strong chance that it was my new Liz Carroll album entitled... Liz Carroll! On a side note, I have recently met the guitarist on that album, Dáithí Sproule over at the Session at Merlin's Rest, which was rather exciting. But, I digress...


1. Prepare the mushrooms: heat some olive oil in a skillet over high heat. You know, all of us have a different method of testing to see when the oil is ready. Emily's method involves putting in a little bit of the garlic and waiting for it to sizzle. Mine involves flicking water onto the oil and seeing if you hear a pop and sizzle. Bozzie's involves... I'm rambling again, aren't I?

When the oil is ready, add the mushrooms and begin sauteing over high heat. Add about a clove of the garlic, a pinch of basil and oregano and, lastly, a splash of the wine. Heat until the mushrooms drink up some of the wine. Set aside.

2. Do them onions: Heat some more olive oil in the skillet. You know, all of us have a different... (kidding!) Saute the onions over low heat. Be patient - the best results come if they are cooked slowly. If you're doing the red wine sauce, go for about 5 minutes. If white, more like 10, since you're aiming for a generally sweeter taste. Gesture dramatically as the aromas arise.

3. Combine stuff: Add the remaining garlic and wine. For the red wine sauce, dump in the tomatoes, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add the vinegar and other seasonings. For the white, add the remaining olive oil and seasonings and similarly get simmering. Nice slow cooking. Oh yeah, if you haven't already, boil the pasta. Generally you want your sauce simmering about the same amount of time you have the pasta boiling.

4. About 3-5 minutes from the end, add the tomato and green pepper if you're making the white wine sauce. Stir the sauce constantly either way. This is a good time to taste and adjust the flavors as desired. I cannot argue with adding more garlic if not garlicky enough or adding more vinegar if the red sauce isn't tangy enough.

And that's pretty much it. Add to the pasta and serve with a glass of wine! My housemates gobbled these up, and the smell is pretty great while its cooking. I'd have to say my personal preference is for the red wine sauce due to the complexity of flavor you get from the red wine, but both are definitely quality Yummies. My rambliness seems to have calmed down for the time being, although a bit too late for you all. Sorry!

1 comment:

  1. I Like the rambling, makes the cooking less lonely. Tell me again the different oil testing methods .... :-)