Hello friends! May I first apologize for the tardiness of this post, as I meant to post it a week ago, but somehow life took over and didn’t leave me much time with my computer. I’ve been doing training all week for my job, and I have been apartment shopping, so time has been sparse. I hope you all enjoyed your pasta from my last post, and are ready to make more to go along with this week’s recipe, which I am calling The Drunken Tuscan!
As with every fantastic Italian dish, this pasta flood your home with the smell of garlic. The first step is to melt some butter on the stove, and add sauté the minced garlic in it to brown the garlic. Once the butter and the garlic is browned, add the minced onion and cook until the onions are clear and no longer white.
Here comes my personal favorite part: add the white wine to the pan with the onions and garlic and butter. Cook down and allow the white wine to sort of deglaze the pan (loosen any crusted bits of garlic or onion from the bottom of the pan so that it can become incorporated into the sauce). By now, the aroma of your cooking should be filling your heart with love. I absolutely love the combination of white wine, onions, garlic, and butter. A note here: be sure to always use wine you would actually drink. If you don’t want to drink it because the flavor isn’t good enough, why would you want to cook with it?
Remove about half of the sundried tomatoes from their jar of oil and dice them into bite sized pieces. I like to use sundried tomatoes that have been sitting in olive oil and come juliened. If you are using dry sundried tomatoes you will want to add them with the wine (and possibly more wine) so they have an opportunity to absorb all of the juices. During this step, be sure to add the chopped basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
Next, you will add the half and half. This is what makes this sauce so creamy! Allow the half and half to get warm in the pan, even to boiling, while stirring to make sure nothing is burning on the bottom.
Now would be a good time to cook your pasta. I used my garlic basil pasta from the last post. If your pasta is fresh, you will only need to boil it for about 3-5 minutes, but if the pasta is storebought, you will need to cook it as per the instructions on the container.
Once the sauce has cooked and all the flavors have merged together, you will add the spinach and continue to cook until the leaves wilt. Salt and pepper to taste.
Look at that beautiful halo around that freshly cooked pasta! Has there ever been a more angelic photograph of pasta?
Toss the pasta with the sauce and voila! Allow the pasta to sit in the sauce for about 5 minutes to encourage the pasta to absorb that delicious sauce. If you notice, this sauce is vegetarian (but definitely not vegan, sorry vegan loves!), so if you absolutely must have a meat, might I suggest some pancetta? Pancetta is essentially fancy italian bacon and it is quite delicious. I would add the pancetta when I added the onions so that the onions could soak of all that pancetta fatty goodness. You could also add some sliced grilled chicken or some sautéed shrimp. As always, I want you to make this your own recipe! (Personally I always add more wine and more garlic than it calls for because I love wine and garlic).
Drunken Tuscan Pasta
In this pasta dish, delicious white wine mingles with garlic and sundried tomatoes to bring you flavors to rival your favorite Italian restaurant.
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6-8 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup of white wine
- 4 oz of julienned sundried tomatoes (half of an 8 oz jar)
- 2 tbsp of fresh basil
- 2 tbsp of fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves, washed
- 3 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese
-1 and 3/4 cups of half and half
-1 ball of fresh pasta, or enough store-bought pasta to serve 6-10
- Brown butter in skillet over medium heat, add minced garlic. Allow to cook until golden.
- Add diced onion and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are clear.
- Add wine and chopped sundried tomatoes and allow to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce heat to low-medium and add the half and half. Add basil and parsley. Allow to simmer while stirring to ensure nothing burns on the bottom. Simmer until the sauce us pink from the sundried tomatoes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add parmesan and spinach to the sauce and allow to wilt. Cook over low heat until the cheese has melted throughout the sauce.
- Cook pasta according to cooking instructions, drain, and add to sauce. Toss pasta with the sauce to make sure it is coated evenly. Allow pasta to absorb the sauce for about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more parmesan and red pepper flakes for garnish.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did, and as always, I want to see your creations! Be sure to post your dish on instagram with the hashtag #MyDinnerDesigner and share your cooking brilliance with the world!