In Louisiana, Justin Wilson was a fixture that we all knew about growing up. He was funny, ‘way Cajun’ and had a cooking show on PBS. It was probably my first connection with a “cooking show”. Justin would pour in wine, to the meal that he was cooking. Then, he would pour himself a bit, then maybe a bit more. He was famous for his humor and love of Cajun culture. “I GARONTEE!”
I don’t know how widespread Justin Wilson’s popularity was outside of his beloved Louisiana. Folks loved him, there. He started his career in safety, providing lectures to workers in the refinery. He discovered that interjecting a bit of cajun humor would improve his lectures. He was a born story-teller.
Justin eventually found his way to music, humor and cooking. He had a passion for it all. His first cookbook was printed in 1965, at the age of 51. He had a long history of entertaining and feeding people well. If you are not familiar with Justin Wilson, ask google and you tube to lend a helping hand.
Like Justin, I am going to “Pour myself a little wine, sha’!”
When I started pulling ingredients this evening, I started with the Zinfandel. The other ingredients just found their way to the pan. Although, the wine may have coaxed them to the pan.
Simply Zin Tomato Garlic Sauce
Serves 2-3 as meal or 4 as side dish
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup onions, sliced
2 garlic toes, minced
1 pint Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup pimentos, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Spice
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Zinfandel
Peppercorns, Fresh grind several turns
8 oz Davinci’s Small Shells Pasta
In saucepan on low, melt butter. Add olive oil, onions and cook slowly until tender. Add garlic and grape tomatoes, stirring as needed.
Cook on low until the tomatoes start to cook down about 6-10 minutes (I left my grape tomatoes whole and then used a potato masher when they were ready. They popped with juice. Slicing in half is a better idea.)
Add in pimentos, spices, and the Zinfandel. It may be time to pour another glass in Justin’s honor.
Taste and adjust any salt, pepper and cayenne to match your taste. Allow to simmer for a bit.
Prepare your pasta according to package directions. Drain.
In the pasta pot, add the amount of pasta that you and yours desire to the sauce and stir well. Each family has it’s own pasta and sauce ratio. Sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy!