Carrots Braised in Marsala Wine
For this simple dish to taste extraordinary, you need the
best-quality Italian dry Marsala. Others would give a harsh taste or none at all
to the dish. I know from experience. If you can't find one, use another braising
liquid, such as chicken, meat, or vegetable broth.
Yield: Makes 4 or 5 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into large matchsticks or 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small grating of fresh nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sugar
The braising liquid
1/2 cup Lombardo Marsala Dry
Choose a straight-sided sauté pan that has a tight-fitting lid and is just large enough to hold the vegetables in one or two layers. A pan that is too large will allow the liquid to evaporate too quickly; if it is too small, the vegetables will be piled too high to braise evenly.
Melt the butter over moderate heat, so that it melts without taking on any color. Stir the carrots into the pan, and season with salt and pepper, nutmeg, and sugar. Turn the carrots over several times with a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spatula or spoon to coat them well with the butter and seasonings. Cook gently — do not fry — stirring often, for about 2 minutes, to release the vegetable's flavor, and then pour in the Marsala. Bring to a quick boil, and then adjust the heat so the carrots just barely simmer. Cover the pan tightly and braise, shaking it well from time to time, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Check the pan occasionally, and if the liquid has evaporated before the carrots are cooked, add small amounts of hot water. When the carrots are tender, there should be only enough liquid left just to coat them. If there is more, turn the heat to high and boil it off.