Angry pasta with a glass of awesomeness
Anyone who knows me well, knows about my obsession with seafood. This obsession extends itself to when I make pasta at home. I think that there’s nothing better than spaghetti with clams in a garlic and wine sauce. So simple, yet so tasty.
So for this edition of Wine Down Wednesday I was facing a dilemma. I did not want to feature yet another frozen or prepared meal, and I was running out of ideas. I thought about featuring my own spaghetti with clams, but truth be told, I wanted to do something different. So I picked Ashley’s brain for ideas and she suggested I prepare a pasta dish, specifically a pasta arrabbiata. Challenge accepted!
Pasta arrabbiata can be a simple dish if you wish. Conversely it can be made complicated if you decide to add more ingredients. In its basic essence, this dish is just penne pasta and a spicy tomato sauce that is loaded with garlic. Simple, right? Ashley provided me with a recipe which I used as a base guideline. Other than that, I was on my own. The recipe called for penne pasta, a can of diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, parsley, dry red pepper and either a red or white wine for the sauce. I had the majority of the ingredients at home except for the parsley and dry red pepper so off I went to my local market. I also picked up a package of chorizo earlier in the day from my local Fleishers which I thought would add for more flavor.
When I got home I ran into a big problem. My can opener had decided to give up the ghost and I had no idea how to open the can of tomatoes. So out came the beer bottle opener and a pair of pliers!
I began by cooking the pasta in a small pot of water. The sauce took on life by cooking a ton of finely diced garlic and onions in olive oil. I then added the red pepper followed by the tomatoes which I let simmer for a while. In a small frying pan I cooked the chorizo which I decided to cut into small slices. Once the sauce was happily simmering for about 10 minutes I added a little bit of dry white wine followed by some of the parsley.
Once I was happy with the flavor of the sauce, I added the pasta to the pan and let it all blend together. I have to say that this dish was a success for a first try! I just love spicy food and this dish was rounded off by the sweetness of the tomatoes and the freshness of the parsley. I topped off my plate with a little bit of shredded Parmesan.
Wine Down Wednesday would not be complete without the wine of course. For this occasion I decided to pop open a bottle of 2015 Saint Cosme Côtes Du Rhône. This little red wine might just be my favorite from all of last year. From the first time I tasted it I knew that there was something special about it. The wine is a blend of Syrah from Vinsobres and Syrah from Villafranchian featuring elements of blackberry, dark cherry, boysenberry and tobacco. It’s oh so rich on the palate and on the nose. I just love it.
I had noticed how special this wine was early on in the summer of 2016 and it was confirmed when Wine Spectator placed it at #43 on their top 100 list late last fall. Unfortunately this means that the secret is out and now the wine is a bit difficult to find. For those of you who are able to locate a bottle or two I recommend that you pick them up. Great wines at a price point of around $15 don’t come around often. This one can be consumed now or cellared for several years!
Dinner was awesome tonight and I will surely be adding this dish to my repertoire. But I may not dig in to my stash of Saint Cosme CDR to pair it with next time. I’m saving my remaining bottles for some special occasions!
Have a favorite pasta dish? A favorite red wine? Want to see them featured on a future Wine Down Wednesday? I’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments below!