Sunday, May 7, 2017

Drunken Spaghetti

I usually post my weekly recipes on Saturday mornings, but more important things kept me from my duty yesterday. It was a true rite of passage as I traveled the 212 miles to Ames, Iowa to see my son on his graduation day from Iowa State. It was just 4 years ago when I dropped him off and now he's done....and on to life's next great adventure. Way to go, Sean! One down and one to go...Patrick will be graduating from Macalester College in 2019.

Today's recipe hails from Florence, Italy. In Florence, it appears on the menu as Spaghetti All'Ubriaco. The translation is indeed Drunken Spaghetti, as it gets it's name from the fact that you cook the spaghetti in wine. Well, it's actually done in two stages. First you cook in water and then finish it in a pot of boiling wine. Sangiovese, to be exact. And it's that bottle of Sangiovese that turns the spaghetti red.

It's an easy recipe and it cooks up in less than 10 minutes. I'm always partial to serving up my pasta with some protein, so I grill up some hot Italian sausages and put one on each serving plate. This Saveur recipe serves four to six people.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bottle Sangiovese (750 ml)
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cube beef bouillon
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley


  1. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. In a large, high-sided skillet, add the oil, garlic,  1/4 teaspoon salt and chile flakes. Heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Pour in the red wine (stand back as the liquid may splatter) and bring to a rapid boil.
  3. Add spaghetti to the boiling pot of water and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the spaghetti to the skillet with the boiling red wine and add the bouillon and 1 teaspoon of oregano: cook, stirring often with tongs until the spaghetti is tender, 6-8 minutes.
  5. Transfer the pasta to a platter and top with the remaining oregano and parsley. Serve immediately.

Wine pairing: I would opt to keep this meal all about Florence, so I would reach for a Super Tuscan.

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