You know when you have a recipe that you have been meaning to try for ages and never get around to it until you least expect it? Well that is exactly what happened here. Ages ago (because I am sooo old) I heard about cooking pasta in red wine and while I prefer to drink my wine, I thought it would be worth a try. The main reason I was stalling on making this dish though was because you have to use a whole box of noodles to go hand in hand with the whole bottle of wine. I do enough daily conversions between Fahrenheit and Celsius, Meters and Feet that I wanted to avoid halving or quartering anything and everything. My mind is tired.
Last night I had a friend over –> this here friend and we made ourselves some pasta. What I can say is that it was more delicious than I expected (didn’t use the recommended wine) and the color of the dish was well nothing short of eye popping. The colors of deep hue purple with the green broccoli definitely made her think of Barney, and so ensued the pseudo name of “Not Suitable for Barney Pasta”.
Definitely recommend this dish if you are looking for an easy dish that is a fun experiment that leaves you with deliciousness.
A third friend joined us (and brought dessert from one of our fav. local bakeries – mmmhhhmmmm) so there were no leftoveres, but I have a feeling it would hold well through the next day in the fridge.
We paired it with roasted eggplant chips, which I will be sure to post soon as well (:
The only thing I would do differently is add more broccoli (not sure we had the recommended amount but I definitely could have gone for some more little trees in my dish).
Recipe from Epicurious
1 3/4 lb broccoli, thick stems discarded
1 lb spaghetti
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine (preferably Zinfandel – we used a Merlot and it worked out very well –> in Turkey we are limited with our wine choices)
1 teaspoon sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) (We used Hellim cheese which has a nice salty flavor that paired well with the dish)
Cut broccoli into 1-inch-wide florets (with 1/2 inch of stem). Blanch in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water uncovered, 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large colander to drain, reserving broccoli-cooking liquid in pot, then transfer broccoli to a bowl.
Return cooking liquid to a boil and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes (pasta will not be fully cooked). Drain in colander and return empty pot to stovetop. Add wine and sugar to pot and boil vigorously 2 minutes. Add spaghetti and shake pot to prevent pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes (pasta will be al dente).
Immediately after adding spaghetti to wine mixture, cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Increase heat to high and pour spaghetti mixture into skillet, tossing with tongs to combine (skillet will be very full). Cook, stirring, until all of wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve immediately.
Cheers from my Turkish Kitchen