Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Head Over Heals...Again

I'm hooked on a wine again. Every so often, I fall in love with a wine and fall hard. The wine becomes my everyday "go to" wine for several weeks, before another wine comes along and steals my palate. Don't get me wrong - I love drinking all types of wines from all different regions. It's just now and then I latch on to one, especially if it is an absolute bargain. These days I'm head over heels for a Cotes du Rhone. Chateau Pesquie Les Terrasses is a marvelous blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault. It is a lovely, rich, round wine with plenty of sweet red berry fruit flavors. (The wine itself is not sweet). It has elegance and depth, and hints of spice, and a touch of earthiness. The wine comes from the Cotes du Ventoux area of the Rhone region in France, typically known for great values. (This wine sells for the ridiculously low price of $11.99) It is medium-bodied and really is suitable to the summer heat. So, I'm planning on introducing the wine to a friend tonight who is coming over for dinner. Deb - what do you think would be a good match for the wine?

Driving out to Shelter Island off the North Fork of Long Island this week to meet with a client I passed countless farm stands. These humble roadside shacks are irresistible to me, so after my meeting I pulled over to a randomly selected stand to check out the goods. What did I find but (a few) heirloom tomatoes! eureka. Amanda's wine selection put me in the mood for something a little bold, so I put together my version of pasta puttanesca for dinner. This dish, the preferred pasta of Italian prostitutes (so the legend goes) is quick and robust and begs for a nice red wine.

Garlic drying at Stone Barns center for Food and Agriculture (more about this place in upcoming posts).

I decided to make a really fragrant olive oil base w/ tons of garlic and capers and then very lightly cook the tomatoes to keep them tasting fresh, almost uncooked. Any variety of good fresh tomatoes tastes good in this dish so I am going to keep the heirlooms to eat straight up in a salad.

Pasta Puttanesca
1/2 extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 t red pepper flakes (more as desired)
1 T anchovy paste (I love this stuff from the tube, so easy, but you could add 3 whole oil packed anchovies instead)
2 T capers, rinsed
1/2 sliced black olives
4 large tomatoes chopped
1/2 t salt
1 pd. Linguine

grated cheese to taste

heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and add the next five ingredients. Let the oil come up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes till the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and cook another 5 minutes till the tomatoes begin to soften a bit, but not break down. Cook pasta in boiling salted water as directed on package. Drain and toss with tomato sauce. Add cheese to taste.

serves four

1 comment:

  1. I heard that the story of how the sauce came to be called "Puttanesca" or whore's sauce came about when a wife, who was cheating on her husband, had to cook a sauce that made it taste like she was home all day making it. Thus, the flavorful puttanesca. Recipe sounds great. Will have to try it this weekend.


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