Tag Archives: cognac

Penne al Cognac

Penne al cognac

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.

Serves 8-12


Baked apples with Cognac

Two words describe this…Yu–UMMMMM! With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and plenty of sweetened cognac sauce on top…fuhgetaboutit! This is a perfect celebration of the Fall apple harvest.

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, cored
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspic and nutmeg. Set aside.

Place cored apples in a 8″ x 2″ square baking dish. Fill the cores with the brown sugar mix until it’s overflowing. Put one tablespoon of chilled butter ontop of each apple.

Mix raisins into cognac. Drizzle cognac over apples and butter, and then around apples. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Place in oven, and cook for for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place in a dish and top with vanilla ice cream. Top ice cream liberally with cognac sauce.

serves 4