Simply saucyPublished on February 19, 2015


Winter entertaining with a versatile and simple Marsala sauce

Winter calls for casual entertaining with little fuss and preparation so that hosts can take part in activities too. When ingredients are kept simple and readily on hand creating a delicious meal after a skate on the canal or day on the slopes can be done with ease.

Creamy sauces are the key ingredients to the comfort food we crave after a day in the fresh winter air. A simple Marsala sauce is versatile and turns an everyday meal into a gourmet feast. 

Dress up basic meals with this always available cream sauce. Delicious with a grilled steak, as the base for mussels or even a decadent pasta dish, Marsala wine adds a deep rich brown colour and subtle sweetness.


PREP TIME: 5 minutes

COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes

MAKES: 1 cup (250 mL)


1 cup (250 mL) 35% whipping cream

1/3 cup (75 mL) Marsala wine

1 oz dried wild mushrooms (like morels, chanterelle, oyster or shiitake)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp (5mL) maple syrup (optional)

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 


In small saucepan combine all ingredients and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low and simmer 30 minutes or until sauce has slightly reduced and thickened and mushrooms are tender.

Options are to remove mushrooms and serve on the side, or chop mushrooms finely and return to sauce, or using a blender, purée mushrooms in cream sauce. 

Serve with steak or chicken, use as a fancy sauce for poutine or mussels, or as a base for pasta.

Sign up for our Newsletter
Subscribe to theMagazine

Subscribe to Ottawa at Home for only $25.00 + hst per year. Click to Subscribe.