When I think back on past Valentines Day, I’m reminded of some hazy memories that involve myself, my couch, a box of chocolates and a big, fat bottle of red wine.
While things have been slightly different this past year, I wanted to share a recipe that involves at least one V-day favorite: red wine. However, instead of drinking your wine tomorrow, why not cook with it? Red Wine Spaghetti, also called Drunken Spaghetti, is ridiculously easy to make and evokes a sense of sophistication and total sexiness. That’s right. I said it. This pasta is incredibly sexy! And if there’s ever an appropriate time to call food sexy, I’m pretty sure that’s Valentines Day.
I’ve seen some recipes where you boil the spaghetti in red wine, but for this, I simply boiled the pasta in plain, salted water but took it out after 4 minutes before transferring it to a red-wine filled pan, where the pasta finishes cooking. I kid you not – this is a short ingredient list where one of the ingredients is a bottle of wine. Might I suggest doubling that so you can have your wine and cook with it too?
One of my favorite reasonable red wines to drink & cook with is Apothic Red. You can find it in most grocery stores for under $10 and I’ve gotta say, it’s insanely tasty for that price tag. It’s rich enough to provide a dark, deep color to the pasta but also full-bodied enough to drink on its own. Win-win!
Red Wine Spaghetti – serves 4, slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (could add more for stronger heat)
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- One 750ml bottle of red wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Chopped rosemary to garnish
- Parmesan or goat cheese to garnish
- Salt, pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring pasta occasionally, until par-cooked. Drain and reserve the pasta water.
In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, shallots and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the wine and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently for 3 minutes.
Add the pasta to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost all of the wine is absorbed and the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes (if the pasta mixture is too dry, add pasta cooking water 1/4 cup at a time).
Stir in the butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat, and toss until the wine sauce thickens enough to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Toss to blend. Add chopped herbs / cheese to your liking.