Saturday, November 12, 2022

Pasta with Sausage and Eggplant in a Zinfandel Wine Sauce #WinePW

Julia Child is credited with saying that she loved to cook with wine and that sometimes she even added it to the food.  I have a plaque hanging in my kitchen with that quote.  It always makes me smile.  

Pasta Sauce and wine

The recipe I'm sharing with you today does contain wine, Zinfandel wine to be exact.......
Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog is hosting our Wine Pairing Weekend this month and asked us to join him in celebrating Zinfandel saying.....

Zinfandel is a classic all-American success story. From humble beginnings, this previously little-known grape is today recognized for producing award-winning wines, gaining appreciation around the globe. Grape a bottle of Zinfandel and explore this grape's culinary possibilities.

I decided to explore the possiblilities by making a Zinfandel Wine Sauce Pasta paired, of course, with a couple of bottles of one of my favorite varietals. 

Zinfandel Wine

The first bottle I opened and that I used in making the sauce is from Michael David Vineyards in Lodi, California.  7 Deadly Zins website is as fun as the name, you might want to check it out.  I bought this bottle at my local grocer for $14.  It is deep, dark, and bold.  It has strong pepper and licorice notes.  It was a good choice to use in flavoring the sauce that I'm sharing with you today.

The sauce took 2 cups of the wine leaving us with a glass each to pair with the meal.  It was a great pairing as you would expect since the sauce was constructed with the same wine.

Zinfandel Wine

We also opened a bottle of Federalist Zinfandel also from Lodi, California.  This bottle was bought at the same time and grocer as the 7 Deadly Zins at a price of $15.  We did a side by side tasting with the pasta and then enjoyed another glass out on the deck, taking advantage of the lovely weather we have been enjoying in Michigan.

The Federalist was smoother and lighter than the 7 Deadly Zins.  I preferred it however Frank preferred the 7 Deadly Zins.  Both were nice bottles and paired equally well with the dinner, however I thought that the Federalist was nicer if choosing one to drink without a food pairing.

Pasta with Sausage and Eggplant in Wine Sauce

Zinfandel is very popular in New World Wines.  In 2020 I shared an article in which I compared Zinfandel with Primitivo.  I learned during my research for that post that while we once thought that Primitivo and Zinfandel were the same grape whe have learned that they are clones of the Crljenak grape, indigenous to Croatia.  I have not been able to find a wine made with this grape.  

I also have shared a bottle of PrimZin with you.  This is a delicious blend of Primitivo and Zinfandel made by the winemakers of Coopers Hawk.  I served it up with Pasta Puttanesca after reading a fun novel that you might enjoy.  You can read my review of the wine and the novel in this post.  

There will be no twitter chat this week but we are sharing some great articles that talk more about this wine and share some great recipes.

Entrees, Pasta, Pork, Eggplant, Wine
Entrees, Pasta
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Pasta with Sausage and Eggplant in a Zinfandel Wine Sauce

Pasta with Sausage and Eggplant in a Zinfandel Wine Sauce

Sweet Italian Sausage and Earthy, Creamy Eggplant cooked with red wine and chicken broth before being tossed with the pasta of your choosing.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 Hour


  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 sweet Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 2 c. Zinfandel Wine
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb. Penne or similar size pasta, cooked per package directions


  1. Brown the sausage in 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil over med high heat until browned and crumbly. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot along with the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until eggplant starts to brown.
  3. Stir in the red pepper and onion. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic.
  4. Return the sausage to the pan along with the tomato paste. Stir, coating sausage and vegetables. Add the oregano and the wine, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until wine is reduced by half.
  5. Stir in the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, and continue to simmer while you cook the pasta.
  6. When pasta is finished cooking drain and add to the sauce, toss to coat, and serve.


Adapted from a recipe by Fiona Beckett

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