Drunken Pasta with Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico

Red Wine SpaghettiRocca

This recipe (video featured below from FWx Labs) from Food & Wine is clever on so many levels as it provides a use for left over red wine and utilizes ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry. Also, the red wine increases flavor without adding fat, sodium or calories. Finally, it is simple and quick to whip up on a week night. Once you try this tasty dish it will become a part of your cooking collection.

I used whole wheat pasta because it adds a bit of flavor and texture and is hearty enough to withstand the acid from the red wine. It is important to use the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Great olive oil and authentic parmesan cheese will really shine in a recipe with just a handful of ingredients. You might also be surprised by the kick you can achieve from the crushed red pepper flakes. A little goes a long way so you can increase or decrease the amount to suit your taste.  

The fresh parsley added at the end really gives this dish a bright, fresh finish. Do not skip this step. You can also add other herbs like basil or a hint of rosemary. Try various combinations to see what works best for you. Have some fun with it.

Add a shredded kale or mixed green salad as a side dish to this main pasta course and you have a healthy, delicious and balanced meal in a flash.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of water
3 1/4 cups dry red wine

Salt
3/4 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine the water with 3 cups of the wine and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring, until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid then drain the pasta.

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic and red pepper and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pasta and cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, 2 minutes. Add the parsley, nuts, 1/2 cup of cheese and 2 tablespoons of oil and toss. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and serve, passing grated cheese at the table.

Wine Pairing — Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico:

The wine pair for this recipe might be obvious but let’s talk about the obvious. You generally want to cook with a wine that you would also serve with your dinner. That is not to say it has to be the exact same one but it is important that the wine be good enough to drink. If you use something that is not so good to drink by the glass then it can reflect in the finished product. The wine does not have to be expensive either but you also do not want to pick a wine that is the cheapest on shelf. I paired this dish with a Chianti, made from the Sangiovese grape, which is the chief red grape of Tuscany. Chianti has evolved from its traditionally well-know straw covered bottle to more layered and sophisticated in terms of its laws and classifications.  To learn more about this region, please see Wall Street Journal’s article Can Chianti Shed Its Dusty, Banal Image?

The Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico is a perfect everyday wine for pasta, pizza or simple Italian dishes. It is approachable and easy to drink with bright, fresh fruit on the front with hints of acidity and violets on the finish. This is a wine found in many mainstream wine or grocery markets. It is priced anywhere from $12.00 to $17.00 depending on the market so stock up on this gem to serve with all of your Italian favorites. 

Saluti! Godere.

Posted in Recipe & Wine Pairing.