Monday, July 23, 2012

Red Wine Pasta

Yes, dear friends, we're STILL on that same grocery shop!! 13 days and counting!! :) HA! I'm impressed myself honestly. Point being, you definitely can make your grocery shop stretch and still enjoy great food. And sure, you may have to run in the store for a can of stewed tomatoes every once in awhile, but it's not going to put you over budget.

I'm not sure which meal number we're at here, I lost count... but it's got to be in the teens by now. Whole wheat spaghetti with a RIDICULOUS red wine sauce. (James told me this one was restaurant quality) ;) 

You'll Need:
  • whole wheat spaghetti
  • rotisserie chicken, for a heartier pasta
  • your favorite marinara sauce
  • red wine, I used a DOCG chianti because I love cooking with chianti
  • greek yogurt
  • white cheddar cheese
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • garlic
  • balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pesto, Trader Joe's has a really great one if you don't make your own
  • grated or shaved parmesan
  • fresh herbs, particularly basil

Start by sauteing some olive oil and basil in your skillet. Make sure the skillet is large enough to hold quite a bit of liquid, as this is where you're making your sauce!

 After stirring that for about 3 minutes, add in sliced or minced garlic, I used two cloves, and a handful of sun-dried tomatoes. Don't be afraid of the oil that comes with scooping the sun-dried tomatoes... it really adds something tasty to the dish.
 Saute until the garlic gets a little color and it starts to sizzle and smell delicious.
Now add in your chicken. I prefer the look of more broken up chicken rather than diced, but do whatever you wish! Drizzle in some more olive oil once you've added the chicken and sprinkle with some sea salt and cracked black pepper. (in case you're wondering, yes, this is indeed the same rotisserie chicken I bought on that big grocery shop... but I did NOT just make this pasta either... there have been too many posts to put up and somehow this one got pushed until now... I don't recommend eating one rotisserie chicken for two weeks) ;)
 Stir that around for about five or ten minutes, then we'll add your sauce! Pour in a generous amount of your starter marinara sauce. Then drizzle with a fair amount of balsamic vinegar and stir. (at this point, I would boil your noodles and put them aside, that way they'll still be warm by the time your sauce is finished.)
 Your sauce should be taking on a little thicker feel by now, and then it's time to add in a dollop of greek yogurt. Stir.
Let the sauce simmer while stirring for another five minutes, then pour in a good amount of your red wine. Don't be afraid of it! It tastes amazing! And if you taste it and think it's too much, add in a little more greek yogurt and stir in more olive oil. (or just let it cook for longer and it won't taste so much like wine... the alcohol cooks down)
Once you've stirred in your red wine, add in those little bits of white cheddar and press down and stir with the back of your wooden spoon/ spatula. (nicole, what do we call those things? ha!)
Your sauce should be taking on a beautiful, creamy color and consistency, which means you're almost done. Turn the heat way down and stir in a dollop of your pesto. And your sauce is finished!
Here's the fun part! Toss those beautiful noodles into the saucepan and stir until well combined! Dish out a generous portion of that beautiful, creamy, red wine dreamy pasta onto a clean, large plate. Then top with some shaved or grated parmesan and a fresh basil leaf.

Dinner is served!


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