Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Red Wine Puttanesca

   One of my very first posts was a sort of Americanized bacon puttanesca.  Because, most of my days are spent with Food Network or The Cooking Channel on, I am often heavily influenced by the dishes that are being made on any given day.  One day, not too long ago, it was like a mini-puttanesca marathon!  I had to include it in the weekly menu. 

   This is significantly more traditional recipe than my first with one twist:  red wine.  It adds a really nice flavor, a little sweetness and a touch of sharpness from the tanins.  I know it is said all the time, but use a wine you would drink!  It doesn't need to be expensive, but use something delicious.  You are reducing the wine and if it tastes bad out of the bottle, it will taste bad when it is condesed in the sauce.  Also, the variety of red is up to you:  Shiraz, Merlot, Zinfandel, whatever.
Red Wine Puttanesca
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 anchovy fillets (optional, but I urge you to use them)
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 C red wine
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3/4 C chopped black olives
1/4 C capers
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese
fresh, chopped parsley
balsamic vinegar*

   In a large pot or pan, heat evoo over medium heat.  Add anchovies to oil and mash lightly with a wooden spoon.  They will start to melt into oil.  When anchovies are mostly melted, add onions and saute until translucent.  Add garlic and red pepper flake.  Saute for 1-2 min.
   Add wine and oregano, reduce wine by about 1/3.  Add tomatoes, a little salt and some pepper.  Turn heat to med-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
   Add olives and capers, simmer for about 5 min.  Salt and pepper to taste.
   *When you taste it, if it doesn't taste like it is totally finished, add a splash (~1 or 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.)  Depending on your wine and tomatoes you may need a little acid.  The balsmic should balance everything.
   Serve over spaghetti, top with parmesan and fresh parsley.  Pair with a simple salad, some good bread and olive oil, and the rest of the bottle of red wine.
   Serves 6.

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