Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sluttishly Savoury: Drunken Spaghetti

Drunken spaghetti, or spaghetti all'ubriaco as it is known in Italy, is one of those crazy-obvious recipes that has somehow been flying under my radar for 33 years.

I'm no stranger to cooking with booze, so why has it taken me this long to realise that pasta can be cooked in wine? The answer to that particular question may forever remain a mystery, dear readers. Or the answer may be that I AM A MORON.

I'm making amends now, and jeezo, amends never tasted so good. This is one of those very simple, sauceless pastas - pancetta, olive oil, a little butter, a hefty dose of garlic and a sprinkling of parsley provide enough yumminess - but the star of this meal is the wine-infused pasta. Yup - we're actually going to boil the pasta in red wine, until it turns burgundy and tastes divine. Isn't that just marvellous?

Use cheap wine, by all means (the recipe calls for a whole bottle, after all), but do make sure it's halfway-drinkable, otherwise the final dish won't taste as nice as it could. Oh, and vegetarians - leave out the pancetta, but be aware that you might need to add a little more salt to compensate. Fish-lovers can substitute a few anchovies in place of the pancetta.

Drunken Spaghetti (serves 4-6)
You will need:
  • A big pinch of salt
  • 425g spaghetti
  • 1 bottle cheap-but-drinkable red wine
  • A generous glug of olive oil
  • A knob of butter
  • 100g cubed pancetta 
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Some Parmesan or Pecorino
  • Pine nuts to garnish (optional)
Make it!
  1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Once it has reached boiling point, add a good pinch of salt and chuck in the spaghetti. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Using the pan you've just boiled the pasta in (tip out any water that's left in there!), pour in the bottle of wine and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for a further 6-7 minutes until it's al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil and butter in a small frying pan. Throw in the pancetta, and once it starts to crisp, add the garlic. Take off the heat as soon as the garlic starts to colour - don't let it burn! 
  4. By this time, the pasta should have absorbed most of the wine and turned burgundy. Drain the pasta over the frying pan and mix any winey juices with the pancetta and garlic. Now add the contents of the frying pan to the drained pasta in the saucepan.
  5. Stir well, add some parsley, and season to taste.
  6. Grate fresh Parmesan or Pecorino over each serving, and sprinkle over a few pine nuts if you're into that kind of thing. As you can tell from the photo, I am.

27 comments:

  1. I'm so having this for my tea tonight.

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  2. OMG! Is it actually edible? I am intrigued.

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    Replies
    1. It's delicious, Ida! I had it for tea three nights in a row!

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    2. wow. People are so rude! It looks fabulous!

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  3. "Cheap but drinkable red wine." That's basically all I ever have in the house.

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  4. I think this might be a life-changing discovery.

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    Replies
    1. It's changed my life, Anon! Trying it with white wine next - won't be as colourful, but I'm intrigued by the flavour.

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  5. We have a habit of soaking things in a bottle of red wine: http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2011/11/sluttishly-savoury-afelia.html

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  6. Do you think this would work just as well with other types of pasta??

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I think so Jo. I just used spaghetti because 'Drunken Spaghetti' sounds so good. But try it with a different type of pasta and report back!

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    2. Will it work with potatoes? That's the more important question here.

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    3. In the name of culinary research, I will boil everything in wine from now on.

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    4. You've already got form in that department:

      http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2012/10/sluttishly-savoury-chorizo-in-red-wine.html

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  7. Wow, I hadn't heard about Drunken Spaghetti before! I'll be interested to hear about how the white wine version turns out as I'm not a big fan of red wine (but am intrigued by it).

    Angela xx
    Little Apple Tree

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    1. I'll let you know when I try it, Angela! I have high hopes!

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  8. Of course we haven't even touched on the subject of champagne... *keels over from decadence*

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. whole wheat pasta: not sufficiently absorbant or complimentary nuttier flavour? Discuss...

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  11. Hmm - have just given up alcohol, have loads of wine to use. Does this count?

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    Replies
    1. Nope, definitely doesn't count. Nope.

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