April 18, 2010

Pasta alla Marsala

When at home, Food Network or HGTV is typically on my TV.  It's the first thing I switch to in the morning and I definitely have my favorites - Ina Garten, Alton Brown, Giadda.  I religiously go to their recipes when I have a main ingredient but no clue on how to cook it.  One of the sunday morning Ina Garten shows included pasta alla vodka and while the recipe looked a tad cumbersome, it looked too delicious not to even try once. 

So, I'm all ready to cook and in the midst of cooking and chopping the first step, I realize I don't have vodka but rum.  DANG IT.  I had to revamp and use marsala wine instead.  So, the end result was good but not spectacular.  It tasted amazingly like the tomato basil soup from La Madeline.  Additonally, this would have been good with some type of protein.  However, the amount of work it took to make this dish - roughly 2 hours, I'm not sure it was worth the end result.  I will have to try again with actual vodka and see if baking this in the oven for an hour makes a big enough difference to go through this process.

Pasta alla Marsala
Adapted from Ina Garten

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup marsala sauce
6 tspn fresh oregano, chopped
2 (28 0z) cans peeled whole tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 lb penne pasta
Fresh grated parmesan

1. Preheat oven toe 375 degrees.

2. In a big saucepan, put on medium high heat and put olive oil and onions.  Mix to coat with oil and then add the garlic - this helps to not burn it.  Then add in the marsala wine and let it reduce by half.
3. Add in the tomatoes, 1/2 of the fresh oregano and S&P.  Cover the pot and put it in the oven for roughly 1 hour.  While this is in the oven, start boiling and cooking the penne pasta.

4. Once time is up, take it out of the oven and let it sit briefly for 10 minutes to cool down.  Take our your food processor and then blend everything up. Then pour blended mixture back into the pot and put it on medium high heat.  Add in rest of the oregano and the cream.  Recipe called for 3/4 but I only used 1/2 cup.  Add in some S&P to taste.
5. Next, add in the pasta and mix thoroughly. Add in the grated parmessan on top and serve!

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