I joined the Foodie Blogroll the other week but forgot to write about it because I've been too busy clicking through the 500-odd blogs on the list!
Anyway, in homage to the Leftover Queen, Jenn, who set up the Foodie Blogroll in the first place, I thought I would make a dish with some kind of 'left over' element to it.* So, when my eyes landed on a wine bottle with some of the red stuff still in it (after a night of drinking to forget Ireland's lacklustre performance at the Rugby World Cup last week), I seized the opportunity and made tomato sauce.
It's a pared-down version of a recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites, which originally suggested throwing in a lot of ground fennel and dried basil, along with the red wine. That proved to be just too many overpowering flavours** when I first followed this recipe a couple of years ago and I dismissed it as a bad 'un. But seeing the last of the red wine last week set off a little memory alarm bell somewhere in my brain and I figured that I should have another go. Every recipe deserves a second chance. In fact, does any recipe ever turn out perfectly first time round? I guess that's why there's so many food blogs out there. Everyone likes tinkering, tweaking and offering their own spin on how to make things work :-)
For this particular recipe, I'm much happier with the result second time around. The wine adds a pleasant depth of flavour and was good to have a change from my usual tomato sauce recipe (which is a cracker but it was getting monotonous).
Of course, Ireland is about to play another rugby match tonight and, seeing as it's such an important game for the tournament, we'll soon have some more wine leftovers for tomato sauce, whichever way it goes...
Tomato wine sauce, adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 red wine
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes (or 2x 400g tins)
1. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, sprinkle with the salt, cover and sauté on a very low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.
2. Add the oregano and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil.
3. Whirl the tomatoes in a blender until just puréed and add to the pan. Cover the sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I made double the batch because there was a wee bit more wine left in the bottle... So now I have some tomato sauce stashed in the freezer for one of those 'can't-be-bothered-cooking' days. Yep, they happen more often than you might think.
The very dark picture at the top of this post shows orecchiette pasta with tomato wine sauce, mozzarella and olives.
* A lot of our weekday meals are recycled leftovers but, you know, it's a tenuous link to a recipe. Any excuse.
** The original combination of two teaspoons of ground fennel, plus the other herbs and the red wine made it taste kind of medicinal. Food as medicine, sure - but does it have to taste like medicine too?