I love the Food Network. I could watch it all damn day. There’s usually, surprisingly, lots of veg-friendly stuff, depending on the shows you watch. I’m also busy figuring out ways how to veganize things while I watch it. I’m hoping this activity keeps me sharp and staves off Alzhemier’s.
Anyway, this recipe came from Michael Chiarello’s show. I love his show because he’s got quick and easy Italian recipes. This one, for a spaghetti cooked in red wine, always impresses guests. Actually, at first, they’re a little weirded out with purple pasta, and then they taste it, and they’re all like, mmmmmm. The slight bitterness of the rapini is balanced by the sweetness of the wine. It’s fantastic.
One of my adaptations for this recipe is that rather than adding parmesan cheese, I use Parmela. I’ve talked about Parmela endlessly on this blog, and all I can say is, get some. You can buy from VeganEssentials.com. Apparently they’re re-releasing it this month with paper packaging, making it cheaper than before. Yay! This dish is also plenty fine without the Parmela though, if you can’t get your hands on it.
Ingredients: Serves 4
|1 1/2 pounds rapini (broccoli rabe)
1 pound spaghetti
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine, preferably Zinfandel
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
|2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rapini and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender. Transfer the rapini to a baking sheet and let cool. In the same boiling water, cook the spaghetti, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. (The pasta will finish cooking in the Zinfandel.) Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and set it aside. Return the empty pasta pot to the stove.
2. Add the wine and sugar to the pasta pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the pasta and shake to prevent the pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente, 4-5 min.
3. While the pasta cooks in the wine, heat a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the garlic until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the rapini, red-pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, or more if desired, and stir to combine.
4. Add the rapini mixture to the pasta pot, toss gently and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with the Parmela and serve.