A good tasting at the Boise Coop Wine Shop of Port wines with Christian Lamotte of New West Wines. Here are the ports that we tasted.

Robin and Christian discuss the ports.

The wines we tasted.

But then, when you have tasted all of these wines and bought two bottles, now what? How about Pasta with Portanesca Sauce. Yup! You guessed it. A pasta sauce with port wine and coffee. Here is the recipe. Enjoy.

Pasta with Portanesca Sauce

Source: Robin and Bob Young
Serves: 4

4 c Pasta Shells
1 c White Port wine
1 c Water, used to soak the dried mushrooms
1 c strong Coffee, espresso
3 T Butter
3 T All-Purpose flour
½ c dried Mushrooms, reconstituted in the 1 c Water
4 T Pecorino Romano Cheese, ground
½ T Pomegranate Molasses
1½ T Hazelnuts, ground
¾ c Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T Olive Oil
4 whole Figs
Shaved Pecorino for garnish

Cook the pasta until done. Rinse. Add the 1 T olive oil and toss to keep from sticking. Set aside.

Cut each fig in half lengthwise. Set aside.

Soak the mushrooms for 2 hours in 1 cup of water. After 1 hour, replace the water with 1 c Port. Reserve the water.

Reduce the coffee by ½. Add the reserved water and the port wine from the mushrooms. Reduce by ½. Keep warm.

Large dice the mushrooms. Set aside.

Add the butter to a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until it is nut brown. Do not burn! Add the flour and whisk to blend. Add the reduced coffee mixture and stir to blend. Add the ground hazelnuts, the cheese and the pomegranate molasses. Add the optional diced chicken. Stir all to blend. Let the sauce thicken.

When the sauce is thick, add the pasta. Stir to mix. Heat throughout.

Plate with two figs cut in half on a plate. Top the pasta with the shaved pecorino.


As we used to say in the dance classes we were teaching, “Your turn!” Good luck.