No cooking for me this Thanksgiving. Actually, I made the cole slaw and am now sipping pomegranate mimosas while my friends swirl around the kitchen in a frenzy of turkey, potatoes, cranberries and other holiday treat.
For the last week I have been staying in Sonoma at my friend's house and since I was not cooking dinner on this thankful day, they put me in charge of preparing meals. My friends at Graton Ridge Cellars had also asked me to create a recipe that would pair well with their 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
I had been wanting to prepare a sauce using the roasted tomatoes in a bruschetta recipe that I love. Barb at Graton Ridge thought that the wine would pair well with a red sauce and after touring the aisles of the grocery I decided on mixing the tomatoes with caramelized onions and some crispy bacon.
The result was incredible and I highly recommend giving this a try.
This recipe makes enough sauce for 1 lb. of pasta.- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pints of cherry tomatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-5 rosemary sprigs with leaves removed (discard the stems)
- 2 medium yellow onions, skin removed and cut in half and then cut into 1/8 inch thick half moons
- 1/2 cup of Graton Ridge 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
- 1/2 lb. bacon, chopped into bite size chunks
- 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Asiago for garnishing
- 1 lb. Strozzapreti or Penne pasta
Start by preparing the roasted cherry tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place 2 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, minced garlic and rosemary sprigs into a bowl. Add about 1 tsp of salt and some freshly ground black pepper (I like a lot of pepper and use about 2-3 tsp). Mix well, spread out onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. Check them often and stir them around. Note that they will crack and open up to release the juices. This is okay, but If they start to brown remove from the oven.
While the tomatoes are roasting you can begin caramelizing the onions. Add the remaining oil to a large sauce pot and turn on the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly. After about 15-20 minutes your onions will begin to brown. Crank the heat up to high, let the pot get very hot and then pour in a 1/4 cup of the wine. Let this cook down while continuing to cook your onions for another 10-15 minutes. Remove the onions and let rest.
Add the bacon to the sauce pan and cook until slightly crispy. Place the onions back into the pan and stir well. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and add them to the sauce pot. Add the tomato sauce and stir well. Let cook over very low heat for 5-8 minutes.
Add the parsley and lemon zest and then stir, taste and add more Kosher salt or freshly ground black pepper if needed.
This can be served with Strozzapreti ("priest choker" in Italian), a pasta that is looks like an elongated form of cavatelli. You can also use Penne pasta for this dish. Make sure to top the pasta and sauce with some grated Asiago cheese.
We finished off the remaining bottle of Graton Ridge 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, a perfect combination for this dish.