Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A New Take on a Classic Combo

How about red wine and pasta? That dinner has been enjoyed for centuries. Very little to add here...or is there? Ali Rosen, who wrote the cookbook  Bring It, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to give a modern take on that dish.  She told Tonia that instead of enjoying a glass of wine with the pasta, cook the spaghetti IN the wine! Ali cautions you need to mix the wine with water to make sure the pasta cooks properly. She then adds pine nuts and feta cheese, which gives the dish a beautiful, bright color, and a taste that will leave your dinner guests demanding more.  And of course, you can still enjoy a glass of wine with this meal!

 Red Wine Pasta
Pasta often relies on other ingredients to add color. In this dish, however, the pasta is the star. I once encountered a version of this recipe in a restaurant and thought that color had been added to the pasta dough itself. But you can make this magical burgundy pasta with whatever dried pasta is in your pantry. Spaghetti is used in this recipe, but almost any pasta size or shape will do: the concept remains the same. The wine adds an earthy fruit flavor to the dish, and the simple addition of pine nuts, feta, and parsley brings another dimension.

Makes 6 to 8 Servings


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 (750 ml) bottle light red wine,
such as Beaujolais
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
1 cup pine nuts
11/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup fresh chopped basil
Salt to taste


Find a pan wide enough to hold the uncooked spaghetti. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pan on medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the garlic just starts to brown.

Add the red wine and 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook the pasta until the wine has been absorbed, approximately 8 to 10 minutes (or according to your particular pasta’s instructions), stirring occasionally.

Depending on the pasta you are using, you may need to add up to 2 more cups of water as you cook. If the pasta has absorbed the liquid but still isn’t quite done to your liking: add another half a cup at a time until it is done.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in the last minute or two before the pasta is done. Remove from the heat and toss with the pine nuts, feta cheese, lemon, and basil. Add salt to taste.

How To Bring It
1The way you handle this recipe depends on whether you want to serve it hot or cold. If you are
serving it cold, you can just refrigerate it after cooking and serve it as is up to 2 days later. If you are serving it hot, save the feta, lemon juice, and basil for whenever you are serving it. Cook the pasta fully and store separately; keep the pine nuts, feta, and parsley in another container. To reheat, place the cooked pasta in a skillet with a tablespoon of butter and bring back up to temperature, and then mix in the remaining ingredients.

Reprinted with permission from BRING IT! © 2018 by Ali Rosen, Running Press