So, I think we are all in agreement that pasta is delicious and wine is delicious. Well, imagine having them together. Not just a glass with your pasta, but all in one, delicious, winey-carby bite? Yes, such a dream is possible with this Michael Chiarello recipe.
I don’t really have much else to say about it, except that this is delicious. The bitterness of the broccoli rabe goes so perfectly with the spicy zinfandel and red pepper flakes, and there’s garlic.
Red Wine Pasta with Broccoli Rabe
Recipe by Michael Chiarello
1 3/4 pounds broccoli rabe, thick stems discarded – I used two big bunches from the farmers’ market, which seemed to be just the right amount.
1 pound spaghetti – I used linguini. Use a reasonably good brand here like Barilla or De Cecco. I think some of the cheaper brands wouldn’t hold up as well during the cooking process.
1 bottle red wine (750 ml – preferably Zinfandel) – I used a $4 bottle of “Old Moon” Zinfandel from Trader Joe’s, which worked just fine. A better quality wine would probably give it a richer flavor, but I liked how this one worked.
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes – I used this much, but next time I’ll halve it. It was just a bit too spicy.
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Chop the broccoli rabe into 1 inch, bite size pieces. If your broccoli rabe has a lot of florets and is fairly thick and sturdy, you’ll want to blanch it in boiling water for a minute or two, then transfer to a colander to drain, reserving the liquid. Mine was leafy and a little more delicate, so I skipped the blanching phase.
Bring water to a boil (or bring the broccoli rabe water back up to a boil and cook the pasta for about 5 minutes. The pasta won’t be cooked at this point. Reserve one cup of the pasta water and drain in a colander.
In that same pot, add the wine and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat for about 2-3 minutes, until it starts to reduce. Add the pasta to the wine and continue to boil. Stir gently with tongs to ensure it doesn’t stick, and cook for about 6 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente.
Meanwhile, warm a deep skillet or saute pan over low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring to ensure they don’t burn, and cook until garlic is pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, salt, and pepper and stir together while keeping the skillet on low, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and simmer for another minute or so.
Pour the broccoli rabe mixture into the pot of pasta and wine, and toss together with thongs. Cook while stirring, about 2 minutes or until most of the liquid has boiled off. Remove from heat, season with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, if you like. Add the grated cheese and serve immediately.