Charlotte, Phil and I were all set to go to the Adirondaks for the wknd. We got about 20 blocks when phil- being phil- noticed a problem w the car and decided to investigate. As it turned out, the shocks were all fucked up- and we could literally see the road looking down from inside the car. Thinking it was best not to embark on a 5 hour road trip, we decided to head back to char & phil’s UES pad, and make the best of the evening. Enter drunken spaghetti. At 11pm, Char trekked to bodegas and beyond seeking pecorino and broccoli rabe (which she, not jokingly, pronounces broccoli rape). Three bottles of wine– and a fourth one to boot in the spaghetti– this made for a damn good second dinner. ps. this would be a great thing to make if inviting a date over- very impressive yet totally easy.
adapted from Michael Chiarello’s Bottega
1 pound spaghetti
1/3 cup olive oil
1-1/2 pound broccoli rabe
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 bottle dry red wine, Zinfandel recommended (we used merlot and worked fine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese
1 tablespoon butter
Boil salted water in big pasta pot. Add broccoli and cook for 3 min. Remove w slotted spoon and place on baking sheet. Bring same water back to boil, add spaghetti and cook for 4 mins. Pasta will still be a little crunchy- will cook more in wine. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water. In the now empty pasta pot, add whole bottle of wine and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook on high until reduced by half, 8-10 mins (smells so good, ps). Add spaghetti back into reduced wine, keep cooking and stirring as wine begins to absorb and color pasta- about 4 mins. Watch out the pasta is not getting overcooked here. Meanwhile, pour oil into a skillet, add garlic and saute until golden brown. Add chili flakes, broccoli, salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes. (And here is where we add our special touches). Add a 1/4 cup of leftover wine sauce, if u have it, and 1/4 cup pasta water. Simmer for a few mins. Add butter and some grates of pecorino. Simmer. Remove broccoli and garlic w a slotted spoon and add to spaghetti. Now, we are going to thicken the leftover liquid. Add more pecorino- turn heat on high and continue to reduce sauce for a couple min until it thickens a little. So much flavor in this! Dish out pasta- spoon some of that thickened extra sauce on top and sprinkle some grated pecorino. Bon appetit!
Addendum: I just made this for the second time. As I was clearly a little drunk when I made this the first time- I definitely over complicated it. This time, I took the rigatoni out while crunchy. I only used a half a bottle of wine- because that is what I had. Then cooked it for the full few minutes in wine and it all absorbed. Saute the garlic etc in oil as above. After a few minute- optional add some cheese and butter (i left out this time to be vegan and tasted fine). Then add all of mixture to pasta. Done.