Red wine pasta. You actually cook the pasta in a full bottle of wine in a wide shallow skillet and it absorbs it perfectly. I didn’t even know that was possible. My family loved it, but can you even imagine bringing that to your next GNO, barbecue, or book club meeting?! <My husband just asked what a GNO was. Sorry. Girls’ Night Out.> It’s ridiculously easy. My husband could make it, and he’s only vaguely aware of where the kitchen is in our house. The color is stunning. And it’s just as delicious as you’re hoping it would be reading this. A huge thanks to Running Press for letting me share the recipe with you!
My review of the book is right after the recipe, but the whole book is summertime effortless. You’ll be out in the sunshine instead of the kitchen in no time. Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining will help you bring on the hanging out. But let’s get back to that pasta!
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Recipe excerpted with permission from Bring It! Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining by Ali Rosen, published by Running Press March 2018, RRP $25.00 hardcover.
Red Wine Pasta
Pasta often relies on other ingredients to add color. In this dish, however, the pasta is the star. I once encountered a version of this recipe in a restaurant and thought that color had been added to the pasta dough itself. But you can make this magical burgundy pasta with whatever dried pasta is in your pantry. Spaghetti is used in this recipe, but almost any pasta size or shape will do: the concept remains the same. The wine adds an earthy fruit flavor to the dish, and the simple addition of pine nuts, feta, and basil* brings another dimension. *She has parsley written here, but I changed it to basil to match the recipe. She must go with her current herb mood. ~Jen 😀
Makes 6-8 servings
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 (750 ml) bottle light red wine, such as Beaujolais
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
1 cup pine nuts
1 ½ cups crumbled feta cheese
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 cup fresh chopped basil
Salt to taste
Find a pan wide enough to hold the uncooked spaghetti. Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter in the pan on medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the garlic just starts to brown.
Add the red wine and 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook the pasta until the wine has been absorbed, approximately 8 to 10 minutes (or according to your particular pasta’s instructions), stirring occasionally.
Depending on the pasta you are using, you may need to add up to 2 more cups of water as you cook. If the pasta has absorbed the liquid but still isn’t quite done to your liking: add another half a cup at a time until it is done.
Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of the butter in the last minute or two before the pasta is done. Remove from the heat and toss with the pine nuts, feta cheese, lemon, and basil. Add salt to taste.
My review of the book….
Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining
by Ali Rosen
I am so in love with this book. To begin with, the author is just so likeable. She constantly reassures the home cook, like a buddy in the kitchen, with things like, “The recipe is very forgiving”, “Just do your best to decide when it’s ready”, and “It’ll be okay”. I love her super relaxed tone. That’s just frosting, though. The recipes are delicious. Everything’s really easy. And special. This is not your standard potluck fare. It’s very modern and interesting. Her presentation style is effortless, but very pretty.
The book is very flexible. She gives a window of how far in advance you can make things, and a window of the range of temperatures dishes can be served at – in the general sense, not any numerical temperatures.
The photos included are beautiful. The only potential negative I can find is that there aren’t pictures for every single dish. The recipes are easy, so it’s totally unnecessary, but I know some people have a very strong preference for photos.
My thoughts and pics on the dishes I tried:
1-2) Salmon Cucumbers – p 51. Fantastic. They are speedy to make, look darling, and have a very clean, refreshing taste.
3) Cherry Tomato Tart – p 117. Oh, I just love the pop of red. Total casual elegance. The flavor’s terrific. There’s a bed of sautéed onions and garlic under the tomatoes with parmesan gluing it all together, and a very generous sprinkling of fresh thyme. The kids were crazy about this one.
4) Pimento Cheese and Crab Dip – p 52. So yummy and it took maybe 5 minutes to get it into the oven.
5) Deviled Eggs with Shrimp – p 28. We all loved the shrimp addition.
6) Ginger Beef – p 133. Gorgeous hibachi flavor. Everyone loved it! I couldn’t fit it all on my platter, though. The recipe made about twice what you see in the photo.
7) Mustard Roasted Carrots – p 177. These were absolutely delicious! I’ll double the recipe next time, because it makes a pound of carrots and both my kids wanted more.
8) Mini Lemon Meringues – p 204. These are so cute. Kind of like meringues and pavlova had a baby. They have a strong lemon and clove flavor. We loved these.
9-10) Red Wine Pasta – p 100. This is almost too cool. It just screams GNO. One pound of spaghetti is cooked off in a full bottle of Beaujolais, and it actually absorbs the whole thing. This is the recipe that has me the most inspired to tinker with. Oh, that color. And it tastes every bit as amazing as you hope it will!
11) Snap Pea Salad with Parmesan and Bacon – p 76. Great salad. Perfect side dish to either of the pastas.
12) Stuffed Mushrooms – p 34. These are stuffed with sausage, goat cheese, garlic and herbs. The sausage and mushroom flavors are right up front. The goat cheese is a nice complementary taste, but definitely in the background, as it didn’t set off my youngest’s goat cheese alarm. She raised an eye brow and said, “Goat cheese,” but took more. It made way more than the 12 mushrooms in the instructions. I bought a full pound and used most of them.
13) Mango Puff – p 201. Very cool dessert, and healthy-ish. It’s not sweetened at all. Just really fruity and creamy. Mango, coconut milk, vanilla, gelatin, lemon, and whipped cream.
14) The Easiest, Nuttiest Creamed Spinach – p 179. Yummy and zero effort.
15) The Best Artichoke Dip – p 57. All artichokes, hold the spinach. Great dip. She calls for 2 teaspoons of hot sauce. I used Tabasco and it was a little on the hot side. I’ll probably cut it to 1 next time.
Some others I have flagged to try: Pear, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Salad – p 65 * Kale Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing – p 70 * Orange, Parsley, and Walnut Salad – p 73 * Baked Eggplant Towers – p 104 * Grits Casserole – p 106 * Spicy Brussels Sprouts Tart – p 108 * Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart – p 112 * Bacon Mushroom Quiche – p 114 * Roasted Watermelon Pork Ribs – p 140 * Seafood Paella-ish – p 149 * Acorn Squash with Parmesan and Hazelnuts – p 172 * Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – p 209 * Caramel Pie Bars – p 214 * S’mores Bars – p 220 * Chai Brownies – p 222 * Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cupcakes – p 223
*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.
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