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Red Wine Spaghetti with Walnuts & Parsley

By 3:34 PM , ,

I found this recipe in one of my favorite magazines, Food & Wine. It was in their September 2009 edition. It caught my eye because I have never boiled pasta in anything other than water (and salt). I also had walnuts from my red pepper walnut dip, so I thought why not give this a try.

It turned out beautifully! The red wine turned the spaghetti a deep red/plum color. Hubby was skeptical because this meal didn't contain any meat - BUT, he loved this as well. Despite the fact that it's meatless, the toasted walnuts, parsley and red wine cooked spaghetti create a very rich dish. F&W stated it perfectly when they asked, "Who knew that basic dried pasta, simply boiled in red wine, could develop such complex flavor?"

The funny part about this meal was that I had forgotten the recipe at home when I did my grocery shopping and was trying to remember what the wine pairing was. For the life of me I couldn't remember what it was so I picked up 3 Italian reds. F&W's recommendation was the 2008 Il Conte Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Out of all the Italians there were and the 3 I happened to pick up, I got a Tommolo Montepulicano d'Abruzzo. Hubby & I both enjoyed this wine and thought it paired really well with the pasta.

Red Wine Spaghetti w/ Walnuts & Parsley
adapted from Food & Wine

5 cups water
3 1/2 cups cabernet sauvignon (or any other dry red
3/4 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp crushed red pepper, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped & toasted
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan, combine the water with 3 cups of the wine and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic and red pepper and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of wine and the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pasta and cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, 2 minutes. Add the parsley, nuts, the 3/4 cup of cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and toss. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Garnish pasta with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano and red pepper flakes.

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