Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Skepticism



Okay.  So I've seen a few recipes out there for "Drunken Pasta" where the pasta is cooked in red wine.  Heck, I've even watched Rachael Ray do that on her cooking show.  It looked intriguing, so I decided I wanted to try it.

So my husband and I went into the kitchen to start dinner. Yes, he's awesome and gets in the kitchen and helps me every night.  Anywho, I bought a bottle of Merlot to cook the pasta in.  We started chopping and prepping ingredients and then poured this bottle of wine into a pot, along with enough water to cover the pasta.  And then we immediately became skeptical.  The wine smelled so grape-y that we were worried that the pasta would taste like grape juice.  Or like grape jelly. But we plugged away anyway and kept going.  We cooked onions and Italian sausage and made a quick marinara sauce and had it simmering.  We stirred in some fresh kale and let it wilt down.  The sauce was yummy.  But then there was that almost dreaded pasta.

And then came the moment of truth.  We plated the pasta up and took our pictures.  We can never eat until I take a bunch of pictures of the food.  My poor family has to wait on me, even though dinner is ready.  And, as you can see, I got a little carried away with the Parmesan cheese.  And then...we ate.  And it was so good!  There was the hint of wine, but it didn't taste like it should go with peanut butter.  It was delicious!  If you're a red wine fan, then you're going to love this!  Enjoy!

DRUNKEN PASTA
1 lb pasta, any shape
One 750 ml bottle of red wine, your choice (I used Merlot)
Olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage, removed from the casings (or loose if you can find it)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch of kale, leaves chopped and stems discarded
One 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
Salt & pepper, to taste
Red chili flakes, to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top

Pour the entire bottle of wine into a large pot and add in enough water to cook the pasta in.  Bring it to a boil.  Add in a generous amount of salt and then the pasta.  Boil until the pasta is al dente.  (Don't throw out the wine/water mixture.)

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large skillet.  Cook the onion on medium high heat until tender.  Add in the sausage and garlic and cook, breaking up the sausage as you go.  When the sausage is done, add in the crushed tomatoes, kale, salt and pepper to taste, and chili flakes to taste.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Cover and simmer while the pasta cooks.  If the sauce gets thick, add in a ladle or two of the wine/water mixture to the sauce.  

Drain the pasta and return it to the same pot.  Add the sauce to the pot and stir.  Serve the pasta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

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