Tomato Sauce + Cognac = bliss
I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before…Afer all – Tomato Sauce + Vodka = bliss and Tomato Sauce + Red Wine = bliss. It should have occurred to me.
But it took a recipe from A Cook’s Tour of Italy to make me see the proverbial light. If you’re looking for a new sauce to put on pasta, this is the perfect place to start. The cognac blends ever so well with the tomato sauce, giving a depth to the sauce that’s atypical of most tomato bases sauces out there.
This here recipe is my first recipe from the Umbria region of Italy. Yes, yes, I know. I haven’t talked about Umbria as of yet. I’m getting to it…really.
- 2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup Cognac
- 2 lbs penne pasta
- 1/2 cup half & half
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Chopped Italian Parsley (fresh)
- Grated pecorino cheese
In a sauce pan, heat tomato sauce and tomato paste over medium low heat. Add pepper flakes and allow to get to a warm temperature. Whisk in the cognac and bring to a simmer. Cook at said simmer for 15 minutes, give or take.
In a separate pan, bring pasta water to a boil over medium heat. While boiling, add penne and cook for 12-15 minutes (or according to directions on the box).
While pasta is cooking, add half & half to the tomato sauce and continue to simmer (185 degrees F). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drain pasta and pour into a serving bowl. Dress with olive oil and allow to sit. Pour in half of the tomato sauce and coat the pasta. Spoon in a small bowl or plate. Top with a ladle-ful or two of the unused sauce. Top with parsley and cheese…although be careful with the amount of cheese used, as it may overwhelm the taste of the sauce.