Sunday, April 17, 2011

Champagne Puttanesca

I was making a puttanesca sauce last week when I suddenly realized I had no white wine, a key ingredient. The wine adds tang, balancing out the bite and saltiness of anchovies.

Crisis. What can I replace it with? I looked at my various vinegars (we're adding "acid" as they love to say on Food Network), but they were all too powerful.

I opened the fridge and perused. My eyes fell on a bottle of cheap Champagne that had been in there since God knows when. If it's not too sweet, it'll work, I thought. I took out the bottle, opened it and tasted: nice and dry.

I dumped it into the cooked-down onions, anchovies and garlic, brought to a boil and added the hand-crushed tomatoes. It worked brilliantly, even adding an extra tang to the sauce.

Not something I'd recommend doing with Moet, but it worked.

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