A cynic would say that marinara is one of those things that has been bastardised to the last. Most likely invented by Neapolitan mariners during the 16th century, there are tons of variations out there – and it is very popular as a base sauce on pizza. As with this recipe, you’ll not see seafood in a traditional marinara, but then I can hardly call this wholly traditional either, as I reach for the can opener. Delicious nonetheless.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
100g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
2-3 tsp capers
400g tinned tomato sauce or passata
200-250g tomato paste
1 tbsp worchester sauce
125ml dry red wine
400g cooked pasta
side salad to serve
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Cook the onions for two minutes and then stir in the mushrooms, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano and capers. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, worchester sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens. Season to taste. Drain the cooked pasta and mix in the sauce. Serve with a side salad.
The wine match
By all means use any of the following recommendations for the 125ml of red wine you’ll need for the sauce. A glass of red in the sauce and a glass of red for yourself. It’s fun to drink and cook.
My first suggestion is one of our newbies in from Grave del Friuli. Stylish bottles, but the wines make for very good partners to food. The Borgo Magredo Pinot Nero is one of my top bargains at the moment. Another wine which I regularly feature is Doricum’s Nero d’Avola. Match with most tomato based pasta dishes and you’ll not go too far wrong. If you’re looking at the higher-end, The Squids Fist is fantastic value at the moment, and it’s just got that little herbaceous edge to carry the flavours from the dried herbs.
For a good white wine match, we have the Dignité Viognier open for tasting in the shop this weekend and it has reminded of how good it is. It’s quite full and rich, and the acidity has been tempered, but simply sensational for a four-year-old Viognier. Great by itself or with food.