May is Oregon Wine Month! Red Wine Pasta to Celebrate

To my surprise, I learned that May is Oregon Wine Month. How could I have lived in Oregon 15 years and not realized this? According to WillametteWines.com “We celebrate Willamette Valley wine all year round, but especially during Oregon Wine Month, when the entire state joins in commemoration of our beloved industry for the month of May, offering special activities and promotions for the enjoyment of Oregon wine!”

So let the celebrations begin! In the month of May, I will be featuring recipes that include wine in some way. Since I’m partial to pasta, I decided to start with a dish of spaghetti in wine sauce. Oh so delightful and fun to cook (and that’s not just the wine talking here – or maybe it is 🙂 ) However, a recipe that includes lots of garlic, butter, and wine can’t be all bad, right? 

And it just so happens that I’m working on a wine and food pairings cookbook in my Vine to Table series of cookbooks. So this is timely for me to audition a few recipes that feature wine. Who knows? One or more of these recipes may end up in the next cookbook, “From Vine to Table: Wine and Food Pairings From The Willamette Valley” [temporary title]. 

The featured wine in this recipe is Redhawk Grateful Red Pinot Noir. This varietal is a great table wine and reasonably priced. Of course, the name takes us back to our youth when the Grateful Dead band was in its heyday. Just to be clear, we were not “deadheads” by any means, just appreciated some of their music. 

We enjoy visiting Redhawk Vineyards & Winery.  The owners (John and Betty Pataccoli)  are friendly and accommodating, the perfect hosts for their winery. Fun fact, John was born and raised in the same area as my hubby, so they have their upstate New York chats from time to time. 

The wine sauce in this recipe also features seasonings from Durant Vineyards. The roasted garlic and espresso brava sea salts gave a nice finish to the sauce.

Choose your favorite pasta for this dish. I picked angel hair. However, I wouldn’t recommend a thick pasta as it may soak up too much of the sauce and end up dry. A bucatini would be about the thickest pasta I might use and even then I would add a little more wine to the sauce. 

Besides the wonderful pinot noir wine, these two seasonings really brought the sauce together for a very flavorful, slightly tart/peppery sauce. There is a pinch of pepper flakes, butter, and garlic in the sauce too so these seasonings just brought out the delightful culmination of flavors. 

I pulled the pasta directly from the pot and added it to the wine sauce. I didn’t drain it carefully as I wanted a bit of the pasta water in the wine sauce. The pasta soaks the wine sauce up fairly quickly and turns purple so having a little bit of moisture from the pasta water keeps the pasta from drying out. 

And we’re done! With a few cloves of garlic from the sauce and the pasta soaked in wine, it was a culinary delight, bursting with flavor.

Add a glass of wine to accompany the dish and you’re done! 

May is Oregon Wine Month! Red Wine Spaghetti to Celebrate

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided (for drizzling)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 stick butter cut into 1" pieces, divided
  • 1 750 ml bottle red wine I used Redhawk Grateful Red
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso sea salt Durant
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted garlic sea salt Durant
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Parmesan finely grated for sprinkling on top (optional)
  • Salt to season and also to add to a pot of water to cook spaghetti

Instructions

  1. PREP: heat a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. SAUCE
  3. Place garlic, 1 tablespoon butter, and about 2 tablespoons olive oil in the heated pot. Add red pepper flakes and cook stirring occasionally until garlic is fragrant but not browned (about 2-3 minutes).
  4. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until reduced 2/3 (about 30 minutes). Taste and season if necessary. Cover and keep warm.
  5. PASTA
  6. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until slightly al dente. Pasta will continue to cook in the sauce so pull the pasta out of th water about 2-3 minutes earlier than package recommendations or your preference of al dente.
  7. ASSEMBLE
  8. Add pasta to the sauce along with the remaining butter. Simmer the sauce on medium-ish heat, stirring to coat pasta. The sauce should thicken in about 3-4 minutes. Taste and season if needed.
  9. Serve immediately. Option: top with grated parmesan.

 

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