Red Wine Spaghetti with Pepper Confetti is a simple colorful dish with rich flavors. Basically cutting the ingredients and cooking the pasta with wine. For a long time I wanted to make a spaghetti soaked in red wine, but never got around doing it.
Last Saturday, we were talking about wine, while sipping our wine during dinner. I was making a case that the quality of the ingredients is important if you want your recipe to come out the way you expect. Kind of like ‘quality in – quality out’.
We were enjoying a glass of 7 Deadly Zins – a wonderful Zinfandel by Michael David Winery and were trying to describe the aroma, flavor, after taste and what have you. This nice deep colored wine reminded me of a recipe I saw a long time ago in Epicurious, Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli. Don’t you have that as well, you talk about food while you’re eating?
I adjusted the Epicurious recipe a little – the color of the pasta was fabulous, but I saw many other recipes that did not succeed in coloring their pasta the same way. Epicurious adds broccoli, but I am not a great fan of broccoli, so I needed to add something else. I thought about keeping it one color, but then settle for contrasting colors. I guess I was more in the mood for a little spark than subdued colors. This Red Wine Spaghetti with Pepper Confetti is actually a rather easy recipe to make.
The wine I used was 7 Deadly Zins and I picked a pasta that required some cooking time. I think that the longer it can cook in the wine, the better it will absorb the color and the flavor. The alcohol will be gone, but the flavor remains. My gut feeling tells me that the pastas with a short cooking time may not get the same effect, but I did not try this.
The flavor if this dish is full, rich, which brings me back at the beginning; adding the right wine and you will have great flavored pasta. If you add ‘el cheapo’ wine, the pasta will taste ‘el cheapo’ too. I don’t mind saving money, being frugal, but refuse to buy cheap when it comes down to food. I don’t eat to fill my stomach, I eat to enjoy.
Red Wine Spaghetti with Pepper Confetti
- 1/4 red bell pepper
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 orange bell pepper
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 ounces spaghetti
- 1 cup Zinfandel
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 4 sprigs Italian parsley
- Parmigiano Reggiano optional
- Mince the garlic. Cut the bell peppers in small piece. Chop the parsley.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spagehtti and cook for half its required cooking time. Stir occasionally to make sure that it does not stick.
- Drain the pasta and reserve some of the pasta water.
- Heat the oil in a skillet, add the garlic and allow it to bake just a little until fragant. Add the small pieces of the bell peppers and bake it for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove garlic and bell peppers and add the red wine and the tomato paste to the skillet.
- Increase the heat to simmer and add the spaghetti. Finish the cooking time on the spaghetti according the packaging, until al-dente. If you don’t have enough wine, add some of the reserved pasta water. Stir occasionally to make sure all the pasta is submerged in the wine.
- Add salt and the butter and allow the wine to thicken just a little.
- Add the garlic and bell pepper into the skillet, tossing to combine.
- Serve the pasta on plates and sprinkle with the parsley.
- If you like add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano