So it's Day 8 of the NaBloPoMo and so far it hasn't been too painful posting every day. I thought it would be hard finding ideas to write about but no such luck, mainly due to the mass collection of food photos on my camera. It's harder just sitting down to write, mainly on those days when I don't feel particularly like writing. Like today. I'm moody for no particular one reason and yet a bunch of reasons that I can't quite pinpoint, if that even makes sense. It's cold out. I want Pinkberry but am too lazy to actually venture out to one. And, yes, it's not rational at all that I'm both cold and craving frozen yogurt.
I wrote this post about cooking with wine. It's not great. But I have to post one a day so I don't really see an alternative to not posting it. So read at your own risk. And don't waste wine cooking with it. Just drink it.
You know you can put a little wine in pasta sauce.. but how about cooking the noodles in wine? Micheal Chiarello (can you tell I've really been enjoying his cooking show lately?) had an episode where he parcooked spaghetti noodles five minutes, finishing them in a boiling red wine.
Now, I probably made 3/4 pound of the spaghetti instead of the pound the recipe instructs. And it wants you to cook the pound of pasta in a whole bottle of red wine. All I could think was, "If this recipe is awful, do I want to have wasted an entire bottle of wine on it??" That's a negative. So I cooked my pasta in half the bottle of wine and then we drank the rest of it with our meal, which I found a nice compromise.
We just had broccoli rabe the night before so I added spinach instead, along with spicy turkey sausage I found at the Union Square Greenmarket.
The recipe is good but it's hard to tell how much the red wine really affected the taste of the pasta. Now, you could see the difference in the color of the pasta. If I tried concentrating on it, I could tell in the taste too. But maybe only because I was trying to rationalize the waste of the half bottle of wine. But, if you want to impress people with some reddish-tinted pasta, this is the way to go.
Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe by Michael Chiarello
1 3/4 pounds broccoli rabe, thick stems discarded
1 pound spaghetti
1 bottle red wine (750 ml - preferably Zinfandel)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Cut broccoli rabe into 1-inch wide florets. Blanch in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 2 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a large colander to drain, reserving broccoli-cooking liquid in pot, then transfer broccoli to a bowl.
Return cooking liquid to a boil and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes (pasta will not be fully cooked). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta in colander and return empty pot to stovetop. Add wine and sugar to pot and boil vigorously 2 minutes until liquid is reduced a bit. Add spaghetti and shake pot to prevent pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes (pasta will be al dente). Immediately after adding spaghetti to wine mixture, cook garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over moderately low heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.
Pour broccoli into skillet with the spaghetti mixture and carefully toss with tongs to combine (skillet will be very full). Cook while stirring, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Stir in the grated cheese. Serve immediately.