White Wine Spaghetti

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Hey!  Waddaya do when you find the perfect item on the menu at a restaurant, but it has anchovies in it?!  Ask the server if it can be made without anchovies and make her go talk to the chef about that!  Tee Hee!  Seriously, I’ve dealt with my fair share of ego-maniac chefs in my day (as a sales rep for a food service distributor), and I know how they feel about me asking to make changes to their recipe (Spit!).  But, I have to tell you, I recently did just that, and I was SO pleased when the server came back with the explanation from the chef that the anchovies were the “essence” of the dish, but he’d be happy to prepare a white wine/olive oil pasta with most of the same flavors for me.  WOW!  I about licked that bowl clean.  It was scrumptious!  It was light, and crunchy, and delicately cheese-y, and the salad was built-right-in!  Seriously, I’ve dreamt about that dish for four days – until today, when I re-created it.  You are going to love this the day you make it, and for days afterwards when you enjoy the left-overs straight from the refrigerator.  Yummy!  EnJOY!

White Wine Pasta
 
Be sure to use a Chardonnay that is not oak-y, but that uses words like: citrus, crisp, fruit aromas, tropical notes, or round mouthfuls. I used a 2010 SIMI Chardonnay from Sonoma County and had enough left-over to enjoy a glass with my meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 750ml bottle of Chardonnay wine
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • 1Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup toasted bread crumbs (or crushed croutons)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, chopped coarsely
Instructions
  1. In a 12" skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is straw-colored, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Gently pour 1½ cups wine into the pan and simmer over medium high heat until it reduces to about ½ cup, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add 1 Tbsp. salt and bring the water back to a boil. Put the spaghetti into the pot and boil for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add ½ tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. sugar to the wine sauce.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  6. Add the spaghetti to the reduced wine sauce and cook over medium-low heat. Toss constantly to coat the pasta with sauce. Pour ½ cup wine at time into the pasta, tossing to absorb all of the liquid, until the pasta is cooked, about 4 more minutes. If you've added all of the wine and the pasta still isn't cooked through, use some of the reserved pasta water to finish the cooking process.
  7. Add ¼ cup cheese and toss to finish.
  8. In a medium bowl, blend the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Toss the arugula in the dressing and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  9. Place the pasta in a small mound in the middle of the serving bowl and surround it with the arugula salad. Garnish with bread crumbs and toasted pine nuts.

 

3 comments

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