For a little holiday drama (the good kind) around your dinner table, try serving this fabulous dish. Spoiler alert – your pasta is about to turn vividly reddish-purple, and it’s a bit of a show stopper.
Inspired by a show my daughter and I watched together on The Food Network, we recently cooked pasta in a bath of red wine – a variation of a dish known in Italy as Spaghetti All’Ubriaco, or “drunken spaghetti.”
This method was new to me – and incredibly good. There’s a bonus, too…nice way to finish up an open bottle of wine.
Over this maroon-hued pasta, I served a quick marinara, fueled by a flavorful vegetable medley. If you don’t have each one of these vegetables, just use what you have, but make sure you include onion and garlic, at a minimum.
Dinner was on the table in 20 or 30 minutes, and oh my goodness, this combination was amazing. Votes at our table were unanimous, and that means this one goes into our regular rotation.
VEGGIE MEDLEY MARINARA OVER RED WINE PASTA
Yield: 8 cups of pasta sauce
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 carrot, minced
1 cup of water (to steam sauté)
1 or 2 clove(s) fresh garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 or 4 tablespoons dry red wine
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
pinch cayenne pepper
sprinkle ground allspice
generous dash of creole seasoning, to taste
kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper , to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
Red Wine Pasta (see below)
Heat large pot. Add onion, carrot, and water, and steam-sauté for about five minutes or until almost golden. Add a little more water if needed to avoid sticking to the pan.
Add fresh garlic, red bell pepper, celery, and zucchini, and continue to sauté until vegetables are tender.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and red wine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring thoroughly. Immediately reduce to simmer and continue to cook uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, about five minutes more.
Use an immersion blender to process the sauce to desired texture (slightly smooth, yet still a little chunky).
Stir in nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, allspice, and creole seasoning. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Stir in fresh basil. Serve over Red Wine Pasta.
Red Wine Pasta
1 pound whole wheat pasta
2 cups leftover red wine (or use more or less, to taste)
Heat a large pot of salted water. Add red wine, and bring to a boil. Stir pasta into the cooking water-wine mixture, and cook pasta to taste. Drain the pasta, and serve immediately.