I love cooking with wine. It really brings out the flavors in food, and that's not just a snooty foodie opinion. It's fact, in the case of tomatoes, at least. I'd love to link to corroborating evidence, but you'll just have to trust me.
Tonight we had spaghetti (Tinkyada, of course), meatballs in marinara, and steamed green beans with butter and salt. Umma-num! And of course a few glasses of wine. Tonight's was Serengeti 2004 Pinotage, which also went in the marinara. I love Pinotage... it is dark and fruity without being cloying or harsh. I don't like Cabernets or some of the other, age-worthy snob wines. They're harsh in the mouth... unless you've been cellaring, them, apparently. I don't have a cellar. I ate mine on the drive home. *wink*
Bekki’s Best Marinara
Adapted from someone else’s… made it my own... never make it the same way twice.
Serves 4-6, freezes well
Bacon fat (or bacon to produce said fat)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ cup wine (or about 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar)
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 28-oz can tomatoes, diced, whole, crushed, whatever
3 T tomato paste
4 T chopped fresh parsley (1 heaping T dried)
1 tsp dried oregano
3 shakes red pepper flakes (1 small pinch)
freshly ground black pepper
1. Sauté onion and garlic in bacon fat until soft. Deglaze the pan with wine or vinegar, reduce a bit if using wine.
2. Combine half the tomatoes, herbs, and seasonings in blender with the sautéed aromatics. Process until smooth and return to saucepan.
3. Process remaining tomatoes, add to saucepan.
4. Simmer for about 30 minutes
The meatballs were also homemade... a few weeks ago. I love making extras of those, to have on hand. I made mine with grassfed ground beef, an egg, some Worcestershire, fresh ground pepper, Parmesan (because I was experimenting with my dairy allergy), and gluten-free bread crumbs. Very tasty and very easy. I didn't even bake/fry them before freezing... just flash-froze on a plate and then put in a baggie.