Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pasta with a White Wine Cream Sauce

From Foodsies!

When my artichoke and olives mix overpowered my tortellini, I thought of making a white wine reduction sauce instead. I finished all the tortellini, however, so I just paired this with some basic pasta. And now that I have, I think it's probably best that way. It's a subtle (but delicious) sauce that I wouldn't want to have to fight for attention with tortellini. I think it's best with plain pasta - angel hair, linguine, or penne in particular.

The sauce contains no butter but captures a lot of the creamy, buttery taste of a Beurre Blanc (and without all that fat). A dab on your finger might not convince you, but pour some over a bit of pasta and the flavors will really shine. I do believe this is my favorite pasta sauce, and it's pretty easy (albeit time consuming) to make.

White Wine Cream Sauce with Roasted Garlic


1 Head of Garlic
5 Shallots, diced*
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Cup White Wine
1.5 Cups Soymilk
1/4 Cup Soymilk mixed with 1 TBSP Cornstarch
Salt and Pepper

* You can use a medium onion instead if you don't have shallots


Take your head of garlic and cut off about 1/4 inch from the top (the pointy end). Wrap in aluminum foil, drizzling a bit of olive oil on top of the garlic first.
Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.

In the meantime, dice your shallots or onion.

When the garlic is done, remove from the foil and squeeze out the cloves into a small bowl. Mash the garlic.

Add a TBSP of olive oil to a saucepan over high heat and add the shallots and garlic. Saute for a minute or two and then add the cup of white wine.

Bring it to a boil and reduce by 3/4. This means you let it boil rapidly until evaporation leaves you with 1/4 of the liquid you had before. As the liquid boils down, you may have to periodically turn down the heat as well. And of course, it will thicken as the ratio of shallots and garlic to wine changes. Be warned that to do this properly will take a while. You can go to the next step before it's fully reduced but then you'll be missing the point of reduction (as the wine reduces, the flavor becomes concentrated and the alcohol burns off. Then whatever liquid you add to the reduction will suck up all those amazing flavors. It's worth being patient for).

Once reduced, lower the heat and add the plain soymilk. Stir. Add the soymilk and cornstarch mixture.

Simmer and stir for a few minutes until it thickens a little. It may get weirdly poofy but that's fine. Mine didn't even thicken much, but you can thicken to your preference. If it does not thicken enough, you can add more cornstarch (dissolved in a TBSP or two of soymilk) or whisk in a TBSP or two of flour. Regardless, allow it to continue to simmer (stirring occasionally) for another 10 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and puree in a blender.

Serve over pasta. Can be refrigerated for 2 days or so, although you may have to give it a stir or two after it's settled in the fridge.

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