Recipe: Pasta With Red Wine Redux

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My friend Rolando (founder of Manicaretti Foods) came to town the other day and we had lunch and talked as always about food and what good things he had been eating in Italy and elsewhere during his travels. He described a dish the chef at Osteria da Camillo in Florence makes and I just had to steal it, it sounded too wonderful and it reminded me of a softer, more harmonious take on the spaghetti cooked directly in red wine I used to make. I know a lot of people think you should never cook with corked wine but if it's only lightly corked I always think you can't taste it in the end. This is sort of the perfect thing to do with a bottle of corked wine.

Makes 4 servings

    • 400 grams long pasta, like spaghetti or bucatini
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
    • 2 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 cups decent Italian red wine (can't go wrong with a classic Chianti)
    • salt
    • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese

Over very low heat gently sweat out the onions and thyme with a generous amount of salt (about one tablespoon) in the olive oil for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Once the onions are wilted and translucent, add the wine and continue to cook gently over low heat until the entire thing has reduced and has the consistency of a thin jam (about an hour). Cook the pasta according to package directions or personal preference and toss with the sauce. Toss with cheese, adjust seasoning if needed, and serve immediately.

To read more about Sara's opening of Porsena and the Yelp reviews that followed, click here.

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Sara Jenkins is based in New York City, where she has developed a reputation as a fine rustic Italian chef. She runs Porchetta, an Italian sandwich shop, and Porsena, a casual restaurant focusing on classic Italian pastas. More

Sara Jenkins is based in New York City, where she has developed a reputation as a fine rustic Italian chef. As Mario Batali put it, "She is one of the few chefs in America who understands Italy and how Italians eat." Sara is also the author, with Mindy Fox, of Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond, released by Houghton Mifflin in September 2008.

The daughter of a foreign correspondent and a food writer, Sara grew up all over the Mediterranean, eating her way through several cultures and learning to cook what appealed to her. She began her professional career in the kitchen with Todd English at Figs in Boston, then went on to work as a chef in Florence and the Tuscan countryside, as well as on the Caribbean island of Nevis, before returning to the U.S.

In New York City, Jenkins became chef at I Coppi, earning that restaurant two stars from The New York Times. After similar turns at Il Buco, Patio Dining, and 50 Carmine, she began work on her own cookbook.

In September 2008 she and her cousin Matthew opened Porchetta, a storefront in the East Village focusing on porchetta, a highly seasoned roast pork common in Italy as street food or festival food sold out of a truck as a sandwich. Porchetta has been wildly successful in New York City, both with gourmands and ordinary folk alike. Porchetta was awarded the top spot in Time Out New York's "100 best things we ate in 2008" and also received a four-star review from New York magazine.

In 2010, Sara Jenkins will open Porsena, a simple and casual restaurant down the street from Porchetta focusing on classic Italian pastas.
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