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Penne Rustica with Italian sausage and Mitchell Katz 2009 Zinfandel, Alicia’s Elixir

I went out late Saturday for some wine for Sunday night’s dinner.  I had decided that I wanted to create a dish that would pair nicely with the wine. 

I bought a wine, brought it home and opened it for a small tasting.  It was the Mitchell Katz 2009 Livermore Valley Zinfandel (Alicia’s Elixir).  I didn’t realized until I had got it home and opened that it was (1) sweet and (2) high in alcohol 16.4%. 

I loved it and its sweetness, and began to create in my mind the meal to accompany it. 

I decided that I wanted pasta with a thick tomato sauce.  I also realized that the sweetness in the wine would be good with some heat. 

The next day I purchased Italian sausage for the sauce, sweet and hot.   I sauteed the sausage after removing it from the casings and after removing excess fat, combined it with the sauce.

The sauce was thick to begin with and I had added stewed Italian tomato to it to thicken it even further.  I also added amounts of olive oil, and other seasonings.   It was a very thick, and country-style sauce, and it was all I could do to stop myself from throwing in some olives and herbs de Provence to make a Provencal sauce.

The sauce over the penne was substantial, but didn’t weigh the pasta down.  The Italian sausage was wonderful in the sauce, and the zinfandel ended up going nicely with the sauce. 

The only thing I regret is that alcohol overpowered the finish taste of the wine.

I would definitely try this recipe again with another sweet zinfandel.


About Helene Kremer

San Francisco East Bay

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