Thursday, September 15, 2011

A bad bottle of wine

A few weeks ago, ages ago now actually, I won pub quiz with some friends (for the first time every!) and the prize was not very amazing, and included a very cheap bottle of wine. So what do you do when you know that this particular bottle of wine doesn't taste very nice anyway and will only make you very sick if you try to drink it? You cook with it of course! But really, how much can you cook with wine? Normally you would use a little wine in the food and then drink the rest. So what do I do with a whole bottle of wine? How long will it stay good enough to cook with, and how good does that have to be anyway? Well, I opened it ages ago now, and made a risotto, but there was still so much left! I started searching for more things to make an came across loads of recipes, but the difficulty is then to have people to cook for. Not to mention that I'm currently too broke to be experimenting with food and buying nice things. I did try one new thing though (and I hope that the wine is still good for something more next week).

I was intending on making pasta you see, because I am trying to stick to a low fat diet until my little gallstone problem is gone, and pasta with a tomato sauce is relatively healthy. I generally use the same old spaghetti sauce recipe, but in order to make use of this wine I have finally branched out. And now I have two good recipes to pull out over and over again, because this particular pasta sauce turned out really well! It was thick and rich and just a little sweet. I think I found it on the website, because when it comes to food magazines I can't help but be a little patriotic. So I will share the foodie-ness for all those that have a bad bottle of wine in the fridge, seeing as I seem to be only writing about sweets lately (of which there will be a fair amount to say next week, seeing as for the weekend I am pretending that I am not on any sort of diet).

Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped finely
1 medium carrot, diced up really small
1/2 red capsicum/bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 gram can tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to season

So of course you begin by taking a largish saucepan and heating the oil in it. Add the onion and garlic and stir for awhile, until they are soft.

Now add the carrot and capsicum and keep on stirring for a few minutes.

Stir in the tomatoe paste, tomatoes, wine and sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 or 20 minutes, just until the sauce is nice and thick (and while it is simmering you can get your pasta cooked).

Season with salt and pepper, and if you have something like fresh basil throw that in too if you like, though I found it entirely unnecessary.

I really hope that the rest of the wine is OK sitting there in the fridge and that next week I can use it to make a stew or something. And that is enough for real proper food this week, watch this space for chocolatey goodness.

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