Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sweet White Wine Tomato Sauce – Guest Post by Zach Lome

The following is a guest post offered to us by Zach Lome. - MCoorlim

Sweet White Wine Tomato Sauce

Hi everyone! I’d like to start out by extending a big thanks to Food In My Food for allowing me to write a guest post. I’ve been friends with Michael for a long time, and I’ve been a food snob for just as long, so when he first started this blog I flipped my metaphorical lid in joy that he and Kat were doing things I wanted to do. As you all may know, they’ve got a natural hand in making cool food and keeping things nice and succinct here, so when Michael asked me to do this post I a.) panicked and b.) got excited, because succinctness is quite frankly not my strong suit. I envisioned a large three-course meal, all from scratch, with multiple tools in use and all sorts of crazy stuff. Luckily, laziness and a busy schedule won out and I landed on the following simple tomato sauce.

It’s All In The Mirepoix

The history of this sauce is pretty boring. I was trying to eat healthier and couldn’t continue to make Alfredo (my go-to sauce), but regular tomato sauce was too boring to me. I crave a variety of texture and flavor in all things i do. I had made a decent tomato sauce recently using cream cheese and roasted red peppers, and while I liked the creaminess I was looking for something chunky to go with tagliatelle or cavatappi, but knew I wanted to keep the roasted red peppers for sure. At this point I stumbled on an unrelated recipe that involved mirepoix, and I knew I had to use this. It’s as simple as can be: a 2:1:1 mix of onion, celery, and carrots.

While picking up the carrots and celery I also nabbed some nicy spicy italian sausage and knew that this was going to go in my dish, which meant I wanted a sauce that would complement the heat from the meat well enough. I grabbed some white wine and made sure to use vidalia (sweet) onions for the mirepoix. This meant I had 3 key sweet ingredients: white wine, red peppers, and sweet onions. From there I just... winged it. And thus this recipe.

Just Throw It In And Wait

History lesson over. This time I didn’t have any sausage, but the sauce is really chunky and sweet and savory and it goes perfectly well on its own. Cooking it is real simple. I made the mirepoix, 2 cups worth, and sweated it in a large saucepan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil for about 6 minutes. When that was done I threw in the roasted red pepper and garlic (I roasted the peppers myself this time, but just used a jar last time. Both work just fine). At this point you’re supposed to put in tomato paste to up the savory-factor, but I was a butt and had forgotten. The sauce still turned out alright. After stirring everything up nice and fine for a few minutes I poured in white wine until it just barely covered all of the vegetables. Note that this is a lot of wine and can probably be reduced.

Finally, after another minute or so, I dumped in my can of crushed tomatoes and started spicing with the dried seasonings. I kept the heat on medium/medium high for about half an hour uncovered – I really wanted to reduce all the white wine so the resulting sauce would be properly chunky and not thin. Before serving I added a bunch of parsley for color and a splash of lemon juice for flavor.


I know Michael and Kat don’t usually spit out a list of ingredients in their posts, but I figured that, what the hell, this is my show today, so here you all go:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2~3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 or 2 roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4 ~ 1/2 cup good white wine (I didn't measure, precisely)
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • dried basil, dried oregano, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste, fresh parsley

All you gotta do is combine these goodies and you’re set! For a sauce like this a broad noodle or a spiral noodle are your best choices; this time I went with a cavatappi. Tubes aren’t the best because a lot of the chunks are too large to get caught inside the tubes. It’s perfect with fresh-grated parmigiana on top and goes well with sausage, particularly spicy sausage, but is also good on its own.

Bon Appetit!

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