Sunday, September 2, 2012

Penne with Sage Butter and 3 Meat Chardonnay Sauce

Inspired by Olive Garden's 3-Meat Chianti sauce, I figured it was a simple sauce, but for my taste could use a little bit of a spice boost, so I grabbed an open bottle of wine and got started.  I love using leftover wine for pasta sauce and this made a world of difference to an otherwise American staple of pasta bolognese.  This time I had less than a quarter of a bottle of a nice California Chardonnay in my fridge, which worked wonderfully.

I had some veggies to use up and made a veggie stock while preparing the pasta sauce, so when I needed a little liquid in my sauce, I just ladled in a little homemade veggie stock, fortified with lots of herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar, it's a great way to clean out odds and ends in the fridge and it makes soups, sauces, and gravies taste fantastic, but that's a post for another day.  I'm addicted to using and creating homemade stock and love the simplicity of the process.

3/4 lb. penne (free after coupons)
1 small onion, minced ($.05)
6 cremini or button mushrooms, chopped fine ($.30)
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped fine ($.20)
salt and pepper to taste ($.05)
1 T. olive oil ($.10)
1 T. butter ($.10)
4 oz. bulk mild or hot Italian sausage ($.35)
4 oz. pork sausage ($.20)
4 oz. browned ground turkey ($.30)
1/2 tsp. fennel seed ($.05)
3/4 tsp. oregano ($.05)
3 cloves garlic, minced ($.10)
1 1/2 tsp. basil ($.10)
1/3 C. chardonnay, or your favorite wine ($.45)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes ($.50)
8 oz can tomato sauce (free after coupons)
3-4 T. parmesan cheese ($.20)
1/4 C. chicken or veggie stock (free)
Sage butter ($.40)
6 slices provolone cheese ($.60)

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.

Heat oven to 350.

In a large skillet, add oil and butter over medium heat.  Cook onions and peppers, season lightly with salt and pepper, until oil is slightly red and onions are tender.  Stir in basil, fennel, garlic, oregano, and mushrooms.  Cook for 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms (season with salt and pepper) are just tender, then add pork, Italian sausage, and ground turkey.  Brown ground meat until cooked thoroughly.
Deglaze pan with wine and let wine reduce by half.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and half of chicken or veggie stock.  Cook over low heat on a light simmer for 15 minutes, add in parmesan to thicken sauce by tablespoonful, adjusting until sauce reaches desired consistency.  If sauce tightens up too much, add more stock or tomato sauce, do not add water (it will dilute the flavors of the sauce).

Toss pasta cooked to al dente with sage butter, then fold into the pasta sauce.
Pour into a 2 qt. oven safe baking dish, top with Provolone cheese, and bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Yields: 5-6 servings
Cost: $4.10
Cost per person: $.82

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