In Italy, this pasta dish is known as spaghetti all’ubriaco or ubriachi. It’s a delightful option for special occasions like Valentine’s or Christmas! The recipe involves cooking the pasta in red wine, similar to a risotto. Don’t worry about the alcohol content; most of it gets cooked off during the process. The result is beautiful plum-colored noodles with a mildly sweet and spicy wine flavor!
INGREDIENTS FOR DRUNKEN SPAGHETTI
- Red wine – 1 bottle (medium to full-bodied)
- Spaghetti – 13 oz
- Garlic peeled and halved – 2 cloves
- Fresh parsley washed and chopped – 1 handful
- Fresh or dried peperoncino (red chili pepper) cut into small pieces – 1
- Pecorino cheese or vegetarian cheese for grating
- Salt for pasta and to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
STEPS TO PREPARE DRUNKEN SPAGHETTI
Making drunken spaghetti is a breeze with minimal preparation. Start by pouring most of the red wine into a saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to cook off the alcohol and enhance the flavor by reducing the wine.
Next, peel the garlic, wash and chop the parsley, and chop the peperoncino if using fresh or whole dried chili peppers. Finally, get a pot of water boiling for the pasta and add salt once it starts to boil.
The next step is to sauté garlic, chili pepper, and parsley in olive oil. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until it’s halfway done. Then, combine the pasta with the sautéed mixture. Pour a ladle of hot wine into the pan and cook the spaghetti-like you would a risotto—stirring constantly and adding more wine as needed until absorbed.
Once the spaghetti reaches the desired texture (al dente), it’s almost ready to serve. Take it off the heat and mix in a little uncooked red wine. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and grated cheese if desired before serving.
The spaghetti is currently vegan, but I added pecorino cheese, which is not vegetarian due to animal rennet. To make this recipe vegetarian, use vegetarian parmesan or hard cheese instead.
Which wine to pair with pasta depends on the pasta style. Tomato sauce-based pasta pair well with red wines that have good acidity, while creamy or seafood kinds of pasta go best with white wines.
Drunken spaghetti is prepared by cooking pasta in red wine, similar to risotto. However, the alcohol content in this dish is not high, as most of it evaporates during cooking. The outcome is purple-colored noodles with a subtly sweet and spicy wine taste.