Red Wine Pasta with Spicy Rapini

Please bear with me as I continue on with my latest addiction: pasta. I have been reading up on pasta variations, regional differences and other techniques and tips, which is why I just can’t seem to resist testing out different combinations and sharing my favorites.

Wine Pasta

For this particular dish, pasta finishes its cooking in reduced red wine. The texture and flavor of wine alters the pasta and transforms it into a delicious and surprising dish.

Red Wine Pasta with Spicy Rapini

Adapted from Serious Eats


  • 1 1/2 lbs of broccoli rabe, or rapini, thick stems removed
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • one 750 ml bottle of dry red wine (bordeaux, zinfandel, cabernet, pinot noir, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or less if you prefer it less spicy)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus 1-2 tbsp for cooking spaghetti
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rapini and cook for 3 minutes. Remove rapini with a wire skimmer and spread on a baking sheet.
  2. Bring water back to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook until a few minutes away from al dente (6 minutes or so). Reserve a cup of cooking water and drain pasta. Return empty pot to stove.
  3. Add wine and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add drained pasta and stir well. Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent pasta from sticking.
  4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add garlic and immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add red pepper, rapini, salt and pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add rapini mixture to pasta along with 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Gently toss to combine. Garnish with grated cheese and serve immediately.



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