Reduced Twice Red Wine Spaghetti Sauce

We had some left over red wine that was just past drinkable so we decided to cook with it last Friday.  I found this on Cooks.com.

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1826,144164-243206,00.html

I'd recommend adding 1 or 2 bell peppers, but I'm a bell pepper fan in my pasta sauce. Just mix them in with the onion mixture.  The second thing you can do is cook the pasta in a mixture of both wine and water for some extra decadence.  I'd certainly make this again.  Enjoy!

REDUCED TWICE RED WINE SPAGHETTI SAUCE

1 lb. hot ground Italian sausage
2 lg. onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves
2 c. hearty red wine
8 oz. beef broth
2 lg. cans pureed tomatoes
3 to 5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
Handful of crushed red peppers
Salt and pepper

In a heavy frypan, cook the sausage (we get extra hot sausage). Drain off the fat. Set the meat aside and put the fat back in the pan. Add the chopped onions. Saute over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the onions are golden brown. Crush the garlic and add directly to the onions. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
Place the sausage in a deep cooking kettle. Add the red wine and onion mixture to the sausage. Add boiling hot beef broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Add the fresh and canned tomatoes and the spices. Return the sauce to a boil, lower heat and let simmer, stirring frequently for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to desired consistency. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. (We're convinced the more you reduce something, the better it tastes. If you have the time, this is a wonderful spaghetti sauce. Try this sauce with our Spaghetti Pie recipe.)

Stovetop Sausage Mac and Cheese

I've made this simple recipe a few times now since I spotted it in Cooking Light.  It's one of those where you question the "light-ness", but you really don't need a larger serving since it's very filling. 

The one change I'd recommend to the recipe below is using hot or spicy Italian sausage instead of the sun-dried tomato sausages.  It gives this recipe a bit more of a kick.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

4 ounces chicken and sun-dried tomato sausage (such as Gerhard's), chopped
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup (about 1 1/3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
5 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preparation

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheeses, onion powder, and garlic salt; cook 3 minutes or until cheeses melt, stirring constantly. Stir in pasta. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield

4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 433(29% from fat); FAT 13.9g (sat 7.8g,mono 3.8g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 23.6g; CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CALCIUM 340mg; SODIUM 538mg; FIBER 2.7g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 53.1g

Artichoke, Spinach, and Feta Stuffed Shells

Here is another 5 star recipe lifted from Cooking Light.  I can't say that everything from cooking light is indeed "light", but it's usually good.  Haven't made this for anyone but Gretchen yet, but she loved it.  It's an alternative to making the usual lasagna for us.  The pepperoncini add a great level of spice to the sauce. 

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers
1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes with added puree (such as Progresso)
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded provolone cheese, divided
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
2 garlic cloves, minced
20 cooked jumbo shell pasta (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat; cook 12 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup provolone and the next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Spoon or pipe about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pasta shell; place stuffed shells in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon tomato mixture over shells; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup provolone. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese melts.
Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 4 stuffed shells)
CALORIES 394 (28% from fat);

Quick Vodka Chicken Cream Pasta

Got this from the Rachael Ray 30-minute meal book.  The basic recipe is simple and easy, almost too easy. So I'd recommend adding some chicken or sausage chunks. Gret and I have also learned that (out of necessity) raspberry vodka will work as well. 🙂

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
Coarse salt and pepper
16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Crusty bread, for passing

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.