During a casual conversation, have you ever committed to have friends, a special person, or your boss over for dinner? If the invitation was accepted, then the realization that you’ll have to make time for it, do some extra cleaning, and prepare a meal has smacked you in the face! It is panic mode now and you have to plan a great meal to create a good impression. You want people to think that you are a fun person to be with and that you have it all together. Unfortunately, you did not attend the culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France.
All is not lost! You can still make a good memorable dinner. Look in your refrigerator for butter and check to see if you have any red wine. These two ingredients can turn any meal into something "magnifique." Adding white or red wine to a stew, roast or any sautéed meat or vegetable dish enhances the flavor. Butter, although we are afraid to use it, brings a rich, creaminess to any dish. I am not promoting the daily use of butter. However, from time to time, you should enjoy using butter to offer a delicious, silkiness to your meals.
For your pasta choice, purchase something other than spaghetti or rigatoni just to make dinner a bit more interesting.
Creamy Tomato and Red Wine Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1. In a saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn't burn. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes. Garnish with grape tomatoes, halved and fresh chopped basil.