Mike Isabella made a famous Pepperoni Sauce in the final episode of Top Chef Masters and he serves the delicious sauce at his new restaurant, Graffiato. If you haven't tried it, you should drop everything and head over to the bar at Graffiato tonight and try it. It is sensational. So is everything else on the menu for that matter. Prosecco on tap? Has Mike Isabella been inseption-ing my dreams? When I wanted to recreate the cured sausage magic, I started thinking (dangerous, I know) that I shouldn't limit myself to pepperoni. I had a hunk of sopressata leftover from a cheese and meat tray that I made and I wanted to give Sopressata Sauce a try. It was a success. The sauce is rich, but the white wine and tomatoes gives it a good acidity so the fatty sausage is nicely balanced. Mike suggests putting the sauce through a strainer once you've pureed it so that it is extra smooth. I didn't do this because I like the little hunks of sopressata in there. This is a very fun alternative to a traditional tomato sauce and a fun thing to add to your repitour because it really is quite simple and fun.
3 cloves garlic
4 oz. sopressata
1 pint cherry tomatoes
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
Parmesan rind (optional)
salt and pepper
1. Finely chop the onions and the garlic. Over medium heat, sweat the onions and garlic in 3 Tbs. olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper for 5 minutes.
2. Cube the sopressata and add it to the onions and garlic. Allow to cook together for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes (I think this sauce is nice with a good bit of heat) and another pinch of salt for the tomatoes. Cook this for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the white wine, bay leaf, and rind and cook down for 15 minutes.
5. Remove the bay leaf and rind. In a blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Add more white wine if needed to get a the right consistency for a tomato sauce. Taste for seasoning and add another pinch of salt if needed.
6. Return to the pot and simmer on low for another 15 minutes. Now the sauce is finished and you can use it to dress your pasta. I used half to made one pasta dish that night and reserved the other half in the fridge for another day.
Since the sauce is already rich, I like to serve it up with simple, light pasta. I tried it with a Potato Gnocchi and it was perfection.
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