inRecipes: Bucatini All’ubriaco Made With Magnotta Wine

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Bucatini can be best described as spaghetti in straw form. The tubular shaped pasta is great for soaking up extra saucy yumminess when regular ol' spaghetti won't do. All'ubriaco is Italian for drunk. Maybe even wine drunk, which is quite possibly the best kind of drunk. Put the two together and you've got a delicious, drunken, wine-soaked pasta dish heightened by Mississauga's own Magnotta Winery wines.

Magnotta Winery has been in Mississauga for 23 years and sells wines and international blends from Canadian grapes grown at their vineyard in Vaughan. The friendly staff made some great suggestions. I explained to the clerk that I intended to use it as a cooking liquid for my pasta, after which we then deferred to the resident Italian working at the time.

After overcoming (even if not completely) the sacreligious horror of the notion of boiling pasta in wine and subsequently discarding the revered nectar, he recommended a red -- their limited edition Festa Rosso, which was a steal at $6 a bottle. It was one of the first two wines the winery produced 25 years ago and I suggest heading over to grab a bottle while you still can.The Rosso is also a tad dryer and less expensive than my preferred merlot, a Chilean blend regularly priced at $8.75.  For a little more flavour, body and sweetness, try finishing the sauce with the Chilean Merlot. The Rosso was definitely easier to drink (like juice) and would be suitable outside this recipe as a table wine for "everyday drinking."

Ingredients:

5 cups water

3 cups of Festa Rosso from Magnotta Winery Mississauga

Salt

250 grams of bucatini (approx half a package)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 whole head of garlic, cloves thinly sliced

Crushed red pepper to taste

1 cup Merlot from Magnotta Winery Mississauga, reserved

1/2 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

 

Recipe:

1 - In a large pot, bring the water and Festa Rosso to a boil

2 - Add bucatini to the boiling liquid and cook until al dente before draining. Be mindful to stir periodically to prevent sticking, as is more prone to happen over cooking the pasta in salted water only.

3 - In a dry skillet or frying pan, add chopped walnuts and toast over low heat until warm and fragrant.

4 - Add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat as to avoid burning the garlic. The garlic should be tender and the oil fragrant from the pepper. Season with salt.


5 - Loosen the "sauce" by adding 1 cup of Merlot (or remaining Rosso) before adding parsley, pasta and grated cheese to the skillet and toss everything together.


6 - Serve family style. Top with extra Parm and garnish with chopped parsley. 


On the bucatini:
although beautiful, it is damn near impossible to get down your gullet! You can't slurp this stuff as the sauce isn't "saucey"and as mentioned above, they're like little noodle straws. You've gotta just shovel it into your face (and trust me, you're going to want to). The wine gives the bucatini an earthy richness that is otherwise missing from the water-boiled pasta we all know and love. It doesn't hit you over the head with wine flavour; it is more subtle but definitely gives the noodles a certain je ne sais quoi. The chopped walnuts added a nice texture to the dish. Since they had soaked up some of the oil, they weren't jarringly crunchy or too different in texture from the al dente pasta.

For this recipe, some measurements are approximate as the additions of red pepper flakes, walnuts and parsley can be added to taste. Can't take the heat? Go easy on the pepper. Have a life threatening allergy to walnuts? For heaven's sake skip it! Don't feel like using an entire head of garlic? Get out. Bottom line: this recipe is very simple to make your own and suit your tastes.

*Recipe adapted from FoodandWine.com

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