Monday, October 5, 2009

Peppers, Onions and Tomato in Amarone Sauce Over Amaranth

Amaranth is something that we don’t eat often at our house but I should make it more often. The texture or amaranth is very different from most whole grains. When cooked the amaranth is similar to a combination of polenta and chia seeds in terms of texture. If you like polenta you should give amaranth a try. Amaranth is a complete protein like quinoa.

Both my husband and I love red Italian wine. We used to drink a bottle of Italian wine once or twice a week. Brunello was our favorite wine. Discovering that wine was linked to an increase in all forms of cancer was not something either my husband or I wanted to know. But it was too late once we knew, “it was out there”. (Fans of "When Harry Met Sally" will understand the reference). Since we have given up drinking our red wine I have begun to cook with it. My theory (which could be all wet) is that cooking the wine evaporates most of the alcohol leaving only the flavor behind.

Tonight’s dinner was a quick meal. I made the sauce while the amaranth cooked. The entire meal was on the table in a little under 30 minutes. This makes a great weeknight meal.

Peppers, Onions and Tomato in Amarone Sauce Over Amaranth
Serves 2


2/3 cups amaranth
2 cups water
½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
½ cup Amarone (dry red wine)
½ tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
1 yellow tomato, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon pine nuts


Combine the amaranth and water in a saucepan with a lid. Turn the heat to high until the water boils, and then reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Combine the onion, garlic, peppers and Amarone and cook until the onions are soft. Add the cornstarch slurry and cook until the sauce thickens. Add the tomato a minute or two before serving to heat the tomato thoroughly. Taste the sauce with seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper before serving.

To serve, place the amaranth on the bottom of the dish, top with the vegetable and red wine sauce and finish with the basil and pine nuts. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 423.22
Calories From Fat (16%) - 66.47

Total Fat - 7.9g
Saturated Fat - 1.37g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 34.24mg
Potassium - 896.89mg
Total Carbohydrates - 67.01g
Fiber - 12.65g
Sugar - 9.3g
Protein - 13.19g


This dish is what I call Italian comfort food. The dish gets most of its flavor from the red wine so it is critical that you like the taste of the wine you choose. As the wine reduces the flavor gets more intense so pick a wine you love. Fresh basil adds a nice flavor and aroma to the dish. Pine nuts add a nice earthy quality to the dish.

It is important to tell you that this dish is extremely filling. I had planned to serve a second dish with this meal and both my husband and I were too full for the second course.

This meal is high in nutrition. Each serving contains approximately 4970 IU’s of vitamin A, 195 mg’s of vitamin C, 239 mg’s of calcium, 125 mcg’s of folate, and 414 mg’s of phosphorus to name a few.


  1. Sounds tasty and interesting. I must try some amaranth.

  2. Rose,

    I have had it in mind to mix polenta and amaranth since the cooking time is similar but haven't tried it yet. My thought was that it would taste like polenta but be a complete protein due to the amaranth. Just a thought if you wanted to try it that way first.

    Amaranth is extremely filling. I almost feel as though I am getting more full as I sit here and I ate dinner an hour and a half ago.


  3. I love amaranth and eat it instead of quinoa, since its sprouted look puts me off a bit. This is definetly going in my recipe file. However, I have no red wine and don't keep any around the house, would vegetable stock work as well?

  4. Snugglebunny,

    I would use suggest mushroom stock instead of vegetable stock. Most of the flavor in this dish comes from the wine so you need something with a big flavor to replace it. If you have dry white wine in the house that would also work. If vegetable stock is the only option I would add lemon juice to the dish to increase the acidity.


  5. Yum Amaranth!!!! That looks so good! I have some amaranth I have been trying to incorporate into a dish.. Now I have one!

  6. Michelle,

    Using a big red wine is critical to the flavor of this recipe. If you use a wine that is lighter I don't know that the final dish will have enough of a flavor punch.



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