I have to be honest with you all. I made this recipe for one reason and one reason only…. I wanted to poop. As you know, I hate vegetables. Unfortunately, veggies are filled with fiber that does wonderful thing to your body. I was determined to find a way to get veggies into my belly so I came up with this pasta sauce recipe a few years back. It wasn’t until I started the blog though, that I decided to add beer to the recipe. I trusted my beer expert, Xavier, when he said he knew of a beer that would be perfect for my sauce. Duchesse de Bourgogne is a Flanders Red Ale straight from Belgium. It is slightly sour and very vinegary which is why it is great to cook with. Remember this, acid pushes flavors forward. And not the crazy acid that makes you trip balls, the kind of acid that is found in vinegar. Adding acid to a dish will really boost the flavor, especially sauces with tomatoes. If you can’t find Duchesse, add some red wine vinegar (4 tablespoons) instead and you should be satisfied with the final product. This recipe makes a ton of sauce so its great if you’re cooking for a bunch of your friends or you can store it in the fridge for healthy lunches/dinners all week long!
1 yellow onion
1 green zucchini squash
1 yellow zucchini squash
2 red peppers
2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried basil
1 small bottle of Duchesse de Bourgogne
1 box of rigatoni noodles
Start out by chopping up your vegetables (onion, zucchini, and pepper).
In a large pot, pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or enough to coat the bottom. Turn the stove on medium heat. Press the garlic cloves (in a garlic press or mince them if you don’t have one) into the olive oil. Let them simmer until they are fragrant, which should be about 30 seconds. Next, add the chopped veggies and cover.
Let these steam for about 8 minutes, or until they start to become a bit tender. They might not cook all the way which is fine; they will be cooking more in the sauce. After the veggies have simmered away, add the can of tomatoes and tomato sauce. Also add your spices. Along with the onion powder and basil, I also added a few shakes of Penzey’s Italian Herb mix. If you have something similar, go ahead and season it with that. Finally, bring out the star of the dish, Duchesse du Bourgogne- add the entire bottle (the small bottle is the size of a regular bottle of beer). If you want to give the sauce a little kick of spice, add some Sriracha. I usually just squeeze the bottle and swirl it around the pot twice. This can always be added in the end as well so that people can choose their perfect amount of spiciness. Cook the sauce for 45 minutes to an hour to get full flavor.
When the sauce is almost complete, boil water and cook the rigatoni noodles. I like these noodles the best because their tubular shape allows for maximum sauce absorption. Some other options include: eat the sauce all on its own (because its chunky) or shred a spaghetti squash and using that for the noodles if you want to keep it extra healthy.
When the noodles and sauce are complete, combine them and top with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Bon appetit!