Monday, December 22, 2008

Wino Tomato Sauce

Sunday was a snow day. I spent most of the day glaring at crazy lady and staring at the snowflakes. Crazy lady cooked. She worked her way through graduate school as a line cook (one of many, many jobs), and finds that making soups and sauces helps the healing process. She made a creamy spinach soup and her famous "wino" sauce. Here's the recipe for the sauce:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion (or 2 small), chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, wacked with a knife or minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground fennel
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup good red wine
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes (28-ounce can)
pinch red pepper flakes

(1) Add the oil, onions, garlic at a low heat.
(2) Add the salt & pepper flakes & dry herbs. Don't forget the fennel! The fennel makes the sauce taste like meat. Seriously. Veggies always complained that she slipped them a meat sauce whenever she served it in lasagna or penne.
(3) When the onions start to "pop" because most of their liquid has reduced, add the wine.
The trick is to use a full, robust red wine. The onions & garlic & herbs should turn a deep, soupy purple, after you add the wine. Of course, crazy lady always add more than 1/3 cup...
(4) Let the liquid reduce, about half the original size. Inhale the fumes. Mmmm...wino...
(5) Add the canned tomatoes, including liquid.
(6) Let it gently bubble for 30-60 minutes.
(7) Use your hand mixer to liquify the sauce. Potato mashers and blenders work well, too. Make it as creamy or lumpy as you like.
That's it! Crazy lady quadrupled the batch, to freeze the sauce for a later day.
You don't have to add extra oil when you double (or triple or quadruple) the recipe. The onions & garlic soften great, if you keep the heat down low and the pot's top slightly ajar to trap moisture. It's a trick she learned from the fine folks at Moosewood Restaurant.

One last money shot:

1 comment:

Wild Dingo said...

oooo yummy. i'm going to try that. i'm famous for my sauces. i do lots of puttenesca, artichoke sauces, carbonara sauces, mostly tomato based sauces tho. red pepper flakes is secret ingredient! i like the wine and fennel idea. very cool.