Rosato Sauce Takes the Stage for the Holidays

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Buon giorno!

As we scramble to find that “special dish” for the holidays that is still light and won’t send everyone to the fainting couches for a nap – think fish! Need a choice for “Feast of the Seven Fishes” that might be a little different? Look to your wine rack or wine cellar or wine merchant and select a delicious Rosé Wine – with a lovely pink tint well suited to candlelight. There are some really great Italian, French, and even Spanish Rosés out there to choose from. Then consider a dish like SHRIMP WITH ROSATO SAUCE or SALMON WITH ROSATO SAUCE.

These dishes have all the right elements for the famous Italian Christmas Eve feast, but also are lovely to serve at a dinner party for New Year’s Eve or that “special dinner for two”! They are easy, light, and so pretty to look at. At the same time, it gives everyone an opportunity to sample the endless list of great Rosé Wines available.  Your table will be an eye catcher with glasses poured with the pale rosy-hued wines, and even better – you’ll surprise your guests with your choice of both food and wine. Don’t wait for summer time to enjoy these beautiful light wines.



(Served with Risi e Bisi – Risotto with Peas)

Serves: 4

2 Tbsp. Butter

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 1/2 lb. Large Shrimp, shelled, de-veined, cleaned

1 Medium Onion or 2 shallots- chopped

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 c. Rosé or Rosato Wine

2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves

8 oz Mascarpone Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Lots of Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves for garnish

Cook onion in butter and olive oil  about 3 minutes. Add raw shrimp and cook about 2 minutes. Add wine with tomato paste mixed in and dissolved. Reduce down  – takes just a few minutes. Add the 2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil.Turn off heat and add the mascarpone. Stir in.

Serve over Orzo with a little olive oil, fresh Basil, salt and pepper OR Serve with Risotto and Peas (Risi E Bisi) (recipe below)



This lovely and light risotto from the Veneto region is great on its own or as the ideal companion to the Shrimp With Rosato Sauce. It is usually made with English Peas – fresh or frozen. In this presentation, I have used the Southern Lady Peas – sweet and fresh.

Serves: 4-6

2 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Chopped Onion

2 c. Arborio Rice

1 c. Fresh or frozen Peas or Fresh Lady Peas

6 c. Warm Chicken Broth

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Montasio Cheese – grated

Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add Arborio Rice, stirring to coat well and slightly toast – about 5 minutes. Add the peas. Begin ladling in the warm broth starting with a cupful. Let the risotto absorb it. Then add another ladle of broth. Keep stirring  on medium high heat until absorbed. Do not let dry out. Continue this adding and absorbing process until the broth is gone. Taste the rice. It should be tender with a slight “bite”. Turn off heat and add the butter. Stir until melted butter. Pour in the grated cheese, stir and it’s ready!


Salmon with Rosato Sauce

If you like Salmon, you’ll love this one! This is a great presentation for a light Salmon meal with just a little something extra.

Serves: 4 ( Just cut the recipe if making less)

4 Fresh Salmon Fillets

Rosato Sauce ( as in the Shrimp With Rosato Sauce above with a couple of changes below)

3 Fresh Ripe Roma or 3 Medium Tomatoes – chopped

Chopped Fresh Basil for garnish

This is so simple! Just make your salmon your favorite way – grilled, baked, or broiled. You can even poach it if you like. If grilling or baking, I like to drizzle it with just a little olive oil and add Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper. That’s it!

Make the Rosato Sauce as you see it above in the recipe for Shrimp With Rosato Sauce – except omit the shrimp. It makes enough sauce for about 4 servings. When I make the sauce for salmon, I also like to add 3 chopped fresh ripe tomatoes ( I like Romas). I add them just after the saute of the onion. Let the tomatoes cook with the onion until soft and they emit juices – just a few minutes. Then proceed with the wine etc. to finish the sauce.

Plate the salmon.

Pour a little of the sauce over each fillet. Top with chopped fresh Basil Leaves.


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  1. I made this before with shrimp. it was WONDERFUL!! This wknd I am making this using Altantic centercut salmon (baked) for friends. Serving it over Squid Ink Pasta. Linda recommended wines to serve. Thank you Linda for this gret site! YOU are the BEST!

    • Thank you for trying the recipes. So happy you are enjoying the Rosato Sauce. This is a great time to be serving it. Buon Appetito!