Saturday, March 31, 2012

Balsamic and White Wine Pasta Sauce

Last summer my husband and I went out to eat at a local restaurant that has amazing food.  They always have a seasonal menu to go along with the regular one and they had a pasta dish with a bunch of veggies and chicken in it and a balsamic and white wine sauce.  It is amazing.  I seriously thought about it for weeks after we went there.  I tried to find something similar online and either I suck at searching (entirely possible) or there's nothing on the internet like that recipe (less likely). 

I tried to experiment.  I knew it had garlic and white wine and balsamic vinegar.  I substituted water for the wine (because I'm cheap and I'm not a big fan of white wine), but I could not figure it out to save my life.  I had two massive fails under my belt and just couldn't seem to find anything to help me.  Then we went back to the restaurant.  I asked for that meal even though it wasn't on the menu (which I've done before) and she said they couldn't do it.  So I asked for something similar (no balsamic vinegar).  It was good, but not quite the same.  I took my leftovers home and added some vinegar to it the next day.  Amazingly, it tasted almost exactly like it.  I figured out that the trick was adding the vinegar at the end and I was determined to make it work. 

So I spent Friday night looking at recipes for a white wine sauce and figured out the basics (like simmering the sauce to burn off the alcohol).  Saturday night I made it and it's actually a fairly close approximation.  It's close enough to keep me happy throughout the year. 

I didn't measure anything, so these are just estimates, but feel free to try it and make your own changes.

1 cup white wine
2-3 cups water
2 Tbsp of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
whatever veggies you like

First, throw some EVOO and the garlic into a pan and saute it a bit.  Once it starts to smell really good add the white wine and water.  Add a touch of salt.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Start boiling your pasta.  I used angel hair pasta.  Taste the sauce.  If you can still taste the alcohol, keep simmering it (I had to check mine twice-garlic wine is not a good flavor). 
At the very end when the white wine sauce is done, add the balsamic vinegar.  Add more if you like.  The sauce should be a light brown.  Throw in your veggies and pasta.  I used artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes.  The restaurant also adds mushrooms and chicken.  Saute it all together for a few minutes and serve. 

Other than waiting for the sauce to simmer this recipe is really quick and simple.  Adding some chicken might add some time, but if you already have some cooked then it wouldn't take long at all. 

This is an delicious summertime dish when the veggies are fresh, but it's good all year round.

1 comment:

    - My name is actually Sola Sola West, 11 yr old girl