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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Celebrating Van’s Birthday 2013: Penne Pasta in Drunken Red Wine Meat Sauce

So soon after the holidays come mine and Van’s birthdays – only a day apart. I know, bad news for any diet-related resolutions. We wanted to avoid another all-out party that will most likely wreck our already bedraggled finances and so decided to spend a quiet celebration by ourselves this year. But a birthday is not really complete without pasta and wine – or any intoxicating liquid for that matter! Since another resolution is to swear off alcoholic drinks for a while, the only recourse is to make the pasta – or sauce – drunk. Nice solution, right? So without further ado, my Penne Pasta in Drunken Red Wine Meat Sauce was born.



I have always been fascinated with using wine for cooking but have never had a chance to try it. Most likely it stems from being afraid to cook something that’ll be inedible. Though the only time that happened was a pancit canton fiasco that me and Van ate a bowlful each of. But that’s another story that will never see the light of day. LOL! Okay, back to the recipe. With only red wine and pasta to go with, I had to just make the rest up along the way. The result was one darn good pasta, if I say so myself! The dry red wine added depth and complex layer of flavors to the meat sauce that worked perfectly with the penne pasta. But enough self-flattery and adulation… Try it and taste for yourself!



Happy Birthday, Van! From me, Tu’sha, Kuki, Ashké, Li’l Laguum, Poporps (formerly Skorpi) and Zavi with lotsa love and purrs…




Penne Pasta in Drunken Red Wine Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound or 500 grams Penne Pasta
  • 2/3 pound or 300 grams beef, ground
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large-sized onion, minced
  • 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 packs (225grams) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (400grams) diced tomato, with liquid
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 beef bouillon cube 
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoon oil

1. Cook penne pasta according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in a large pan. Sauté garlic until golden brown. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onions become translucent.

3. Add the ground meat and stir fry for 3-5 minutes until the meat is brown then pour in soy sauce. Cook for another 3 minutes or so.

4. Stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomato and bring to a boil. Add the beef bouillon cube and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add in the red wine, grated cheese, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

6. Stir in the basil leaves and Italian seasoning. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes and adjust the taste with salt. When satisfied, remove from heat.

7. Pour sauce on top of cooked penne pasta and garnish with parsley. As with the spaghetti, for a party style serving, mix the cooked pasta and sauce in the pan where the sauce was cooked and transfer to a large serving dish.

8. Enjoy!







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