Spaghetti al Vino Bianco
Why This Recipe Works
Pasta and a glass of wine are a natural pairing, but we were intrigued by the idea of spaghetti al vino rosso—a legendary dish in which pasta is actually cooked in red wine. The few recipes that exist fall into two categories: those in which a full bottle of wine is reduced to a glaze and then used to coat a pound of fully cooked spaghetti, and those in which parcooked spaghetti is finished in wine, risotto-style. We found that the first method produced pasta with little wine flavor, and the second, while offering more of a wine kick, had strong tannic flavors and an unappealing purple-gray color.
To eliminate the color and tannin problems, we switched the red wine for white and struck a compromise between the two preparation methods: We reduced part of the bottle of wine to a glaze and used the remainder to finish cooking the pasta. Garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, and grated cheese are traditional accompaniments to this dish when it’s served as a first course. To make it into a full meal, we added some pancetta, arugula, and pine nuts, and we found that a little bit of cream introduced at the end helped the components cling to the spaghetti, bringing the dish together.