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Wine for Sunday Sauce? What do you drink? Which wine pairs best with Sunday Sauce, thee Supreme Dish of Italian-America? Is it Chianti, most iconic of all Italian Wines? Perhaps Aglianico or Piedrossa from the region of Campania where the roots of Italian-American Sunday Sauce Gravy begin? Or a Sicilian Wine like Nero d’Avola or Norello Mascallese? If you trace the roots of Italian-American Sunday Sauce and the people who created it, Sicilians are among the top of the list. Now, I know since you came to this page that bottle of Carlo Rossi “Paisano” just had to catch your eye. And I’m sure most of you are asking the question, “Carlo Rossi Paisano, are You Kidding?” The answer. “No, Not Really.” Well I’m not saying it’s the best choice. OK so we have to match a good wine with that fabulous Sunday Sauce of yours. What to drink?
I’m here to tell you, it can be one or more of many wines, and don’t count a wine like Carlo Rossi Paisano out. “You’re Joking?” You say. No. Listen, this can be your wine, maybe not. I myself have drank some of the World’s Priciest, and so-called greatest wines in the World, “Trophy Wines,” like; Sassicaia, Gaja Barbaresco. La Tache, Chateau Petrus, Cahteau Haute Brion, Petrus, Chateasu Cheval Blanc, Chateau Latour, all the great Brunello and barolo wines, great vintage Champagnes, you name it, “I’ve had it.” And with my knowledge of wine, I can tell you, a lot of it is hype, and Marketing BS, and sometimes not. And I’ll tell you this, do not be so much of a snob, a Wine Snob. You see that Carlo Rossi, with all the prestigous wines that I’ve consumed over the years, I’m not above drinking that. Carlo Rossi .. The wine has special meaning and affection for me. It’s one of the two wines my uncles always bought for our Sunday Family Meals. Meals of Meatballs, Sunday Sauce “Gravy,” Ravioli, Veal Marsala, Chicken Cactitore. My Uncles Tony and Frank always had either Carlo Rossi paisano or Gallo Hearty Burgungy on hand. They were their wines, and they only had other wines if someone brought something like Bolla Valpolicella, Rufino Chianti or some other wine. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Paisano or Gallo Hearty Burgundy are great wines, “No.” But they are not that bad. They are Italian-American Wines made by Italian-Americans and have social significance to Italian-Americans. These wines are part of our history, as are the wines from the great Robert Mondavi, The Mondavi Family, Francis Ford Coppola and other Italian Families in America.
So what am I saying? What wines to drink with the Sunday Sauce or any home-made Italian American Meal? Well, actually most of the time I do drink wines from Italy with my Sunday Sauce or whatever Italian food we’re making. The Carlo Rossi is just when we eat over Uncle Tony’s house with Uncle Frank and all the wonderful meals with Aunt Fran, Aunt Helen, Mommy, Cousin Tony, and my brothers and sister and the whole family. No, I’m not above drinking Carlo Rossi or Gallo if my Uncles are serving it. When we’re eating at home, we usually love to drink Chianti, most times, sometimes Barolo, Barbera, or Brunello. But most often it’s Chianti which I love and it goes quite well with just about anything we eat, especially Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce. Chinati comes from Tuscany and is a medium bodied wine made mostly from Sangiovese (The Blood of Jobe), and with small percentages of other native Tuscan grapes like; Colorino, Malvasia Nero, Cannaiolo, or Ciegolo.
One thing I must say is, that I usually don’t like wines like Big, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah from California or Australia. To me, these are the last wines I would ever want to drink with Italian food. Reason. These wines are usually to rich, and because of that, they clash with the food instead of complementing them. the wines you want to drink should have good flavor, but be light to medium in body and weight. Not Bif, Fat, Rich, and concentrated. “No Bueno!”
YES! CARLO ROSSI
WINES To DRINK With SUNDAY SAUCE
2. NERO d’AVOLA from SIICLY
5. MORELLINO Di SCANSANO
8. NERELLO MASCALLESE
9. CARLO ROSSI “PAISANO”
11. GRECO Di TUFO
12. PINOT GRIGIO from FRIULI or ALTO ADIGE
Or Any Wine That You Like and Enjoy Drinking
What is Marinara Sauce? That’s a good one. And I can tell you there is no one single definitive answer. Doesn’t exists, unlike, Amatriciana or Bolognese Sauce which both can have variations, they are still both pretty defined and the variations come after what defines a Bolognese or Amatriciana Sauce.
Well, one thing that a Marinara Sauce is, it’s a Tomato Sauce, a type of Tomato Sauce and it will vary according to who makes it.
Italians (in Italy) refer to Marinara not as a Sauce but in association with a recipe as in
Spaghetti alla Marinara. this translates to Mariner’s Spaghetti or in the style of the mariner, or “Sailor,” and is of Southern Italy and Naples in particular. Southern Italian Spaghetti alla Marinara does not contain any Seafood as some might think.
Folklore has it that, Italian Sailors developed Marinara Sauce to cook on ships, as the high-acid content in tomatoes helped to preserve it well. Another theory is that the wives of Neapolitan Sailors cooked Spaghetti alla Marinara for their husbands when they returned from sea.
So what is Marinara Sauce? Renowned Cookbook author and Restaurateur Lidi Bastianich says of marinara sauce, “The difference between marinara sauce and tomato sauce is this: Marinara is a quick sauce, seasoned only with garlic, pepper, and, if you like, basil or oregano. The pieces of tomato are left chunky, and the texture of the finished sauce is fairly loose. Tomato sauce, on the other hand, is a more complex affair, starting with puréed tomatoes and seasoned with onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf, and left to simmer until thickened and rich in flavor.”
Marinara Sauce is widely used in Italian-American Cuisine, and the sauce varies from person to person and, cook-to-cook, chef-to-chef, restaurant to restaurant, “there is no one single exacting specific recipe, but all usually have Olive Oil, Garlic, Tomato, Pepperoncino, and Basil and or Oregano. Oregano seems to be the biggest single factor in what a Marinara Sauce actually is, as many versions of Marinara Sauce seem to have Oregano included in it, which is not usually present in true Italian (of and from Italy) Tomato Sauce, or Sugo al Pomodoro. One other factor, is that Marinara Sauce is cooked quickly, in about 10 minutes as opposed to 45 minutes or longer for regular Tomato Sauce.
OK, now, my Marinara Sauce, what I think it is, and how I make it. Remember, I am of Italian-American descent. I cooked professionally for 20 years, in French, then Italian Restaurants. To me, the way I was taught and what I think is the best tasting Marinara Sauce is as follows. To make Marinara Sauce, I already have my base, regular Tomato Sauce that I have made previously. When I was in a restaurant and someone wanted Marinara Sauce, this is the one we made. We’d use about a cup of our regular tomato sauce that was always on hand. When we got an order for Spaghetti Marinara, we’d put some Olive Oil and a single serving pan. Heat it, add a good amount of chopped fresh Garlic. Cook the garlic, add a bit of Pepperoncino (Red Pepper Flakes) and a little dried Oregano. This was our flavoring base, and would considerably add much flavor to the base Tomato Sauce, making for a quite tasty Marinara. Once the garlic has cooked to where it just starts to brown a bit, you add the Tomato Sauce and heat through. Once your spaghetti has finished cooking, you drain it, drop it in the pan with your Marinara Sauce, adding a bit of the pasta cooking water, toss the pasta (mix) and serve. Voila, Spaghetti Marinara, my version and the one one most excepted as Marinara, though there are others. This is not the defining Marinara Sauce Recipe, but I believe the one most widely used, and no matter, I can tell you it’s dam tasty and, I always get raves whenever I make it. Basta!
LEARN ABOUT MARINARA SAUCE, MEATBALLS< SUNDAY SAUCE, ITALIAN-AMERICAN NEW YORK and More .. In “La TAVOLA”