Friday, February 27, 2015

The New Sutter Home Red Blend Wine & A Pasta Pairing

By: The Food Hunter

There are two categories of wine at our house, the "everyday" affordable wine and the "special occasion" expensive wine. Though I have my favorites in each category I am always looking to add more variety.

I was recently sent a few bottle of the new Sutter Home Red Blend to try and quickly decided it was a perfect fit for the "everyday" category. The California blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet is affordable at $7 a bottle and extremely food friendly. It paired well with our Friday night pizza and also with the veal & porcini pasta sauce in the dish below. Bursting with aromas of red fruits that are complimented by hints of vanilla and toasty oak it's a nice well balanced wine.

***Enter below to win a Napa Valley gift basket but first head over to Miss in The Kitchen & Cookistry to check out additional wines & recipes.***

Orecchiette with Veal, Porcini & Spinach
(adapted from Mario Batali)

3 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups hot water for 10 minutes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-1/2 pounds ground veal shoulder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 Cup basic tomato sauce (recipe below)
1-1/2 pounds orecchiette pasta
8 ounces baby spinach, trimmed
Pecorino Romano for serving

Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, and coarsely chop the porcini. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine mesh sieve, and set it aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is lightly toasted. Add the veal and the chopped porcini, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the meat is well browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the tomato paste. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the paste turns a rust color, 5 minutes. Then add the wine and 1 cup of the strained porcini soaking liquid, and cook for 5 minutes, until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Add the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to a very low simmer.

Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large spaghetti pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.

Drop the orecchiette into the water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Just before the pasta is done, carefully ladle 1/4 cup of the cooking water into the veal mixture. Stir the baby spinach into the veal mixture.

Drain the pasta in a colander, and add it to the veal mixture. Toss over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated. Pour into a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 cups
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
Salt, to taste
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

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  1. You knocked this out out of the park, girl! That pasta looks so freaking GOOD!!!

  2. I love Sutter Home wines!! Their merlot is exquisite! I need to find the red blend. Loving your dish here! Gorgeous!

  3. I want that section that holds the special wine. A special merlot would go so well with your pasta.

  4. Veal AND dried porcinis?? I can only imagine the deep, rich flavors here. I am seriously drooling.

  5. Awesome giveaway - thank you so much! I love a good wine with my pasta dishes!

  6. This looks and sounds like such a wonderful pasta dish. Love the addition of wine with the mushrooms!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

  7. I've actually never heard of Orecchiette, but it sounds delightful!

  8. This blend sounds nice, but oh my gosh - that dish of pasta looks stellar!

  9. I've enjoyed Sutter Home wines for many years. Haven't seen the red blend, but will be looking for it now.

  10. I love a good pasta dish! This looks amazing!

  11. That gift basket looks fantastic!! What a terrific give away! Your pasta dish looks drool worthy :)

  12. This is my kind of dinner and it's made even better with that bottle of Red Blend!