Spaghettoni Cooked in Red Wine
We had this dish for the first time during a whirlwind vacation a number of years ago. We didn’t have a lot of time away that year, but crammed in visits to London, Venice, Florence, Rome, Edinburgh and Glasgow on the same trip. It was during our short stay in Florence that we tried this great pasta at a little hole-in-the-wall trattoria. It couldn’t have been more simple, or more perfect. The pasta was cooked in local red wine and finished with a little olive oil, garlic and chives. It’s wonderful as a simple lunch. Toasted walnuts would make a nice addition or you could even top it with a little soft nut-based cheese or even tofu ricotta for a heartier meal.
The trick is to cook the pasta half way in boiling, salted water, then transfer it to a pan with the wine to finish the cooking. As the last of the wine is absorbed, the pasta finishes cooking. If it’s not quite done, add a bit of the pasta cooking water.
- 8oz dry Spaghettoni or Spaghetti
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons semolina flour (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
- A generous ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1½ cups dry red wine
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced chives
- Bring a 4 quart pot filled with 2½ qt water to a boil. Add the salt and the semolina flour. It will foam a bit and turn cloudy.
- Add the spaghettoni and cook for 6 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium pan over low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Cook until the garlic is very aromatic and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes
- Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 3 minutes to eliminate any raw alcohol. It will provide an off flavour to the dish if it hasn't been cooked out.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan with the wine and mix well to coat.
- Bring the heat to high and cook, stirring often until all of the wine has been absorbed and the pasta is cooked.
- If needed, add a little of the pasta cooking water.
- When done, stir in the chives