My secret sauce for pairing wine with food is, well, sauce! It’s a particularly handy approach to bring red wine together with dishes that are meatless. Plus, sauce has the ability to nurture us in times of trouble. Whether it’s the creamy comfort of a melty cheese base reassuringly enveloping tubes of macaroni, or a vibrant red concoction clinging to long strands of spaghetti, sauce gives us sustenance when we are hungry for better times. Let’s talk about one of the less common sauces – puttanesca – and pairing it with red wine.
Of Italian origin, puttanesca sauce is composed of capers, olives, anchovies, crushed red peppers, garlic, and tomatoes. All those briny, spicy, umami flavors are a wake-up call for the taste buds. While devouring the following preparation, the mouth fills with sensations of mild chili heat countered by the cool creaminess of the cheese.
Serving Puttanesca Sauce
Traditionally, puttanesca sauce is served over spaghetti. Recently, however, it was served to us at Seattle restaurant, Tilikum Place Cafe, as a starter course. The shallow bowl delivered to our table had a base layer of slightly warmed up puttanesca. Then, in the center of the bowl was a glistening white orb of burrata cheese. The captivating thing about burrata is how it looks like ordinary mozzarella yet exudes a creamy white filling when cut open. It’s a gratifying effect similar to tucking into a perfectly cooked poached egg and watching the yolk ooze out. The crusty grilled bread served alongside provided an excellent carrier for the sauce and burrata combination, each bite delivering a celebration of textures and flavors. Continue reading “Easy Pairing: Puttanesca Sauce and Red Wine”