What We’re Cooking Now: Drunken Pasta

Things can get a little crazy during the holidays…or really any time….so last week, while still in the midst of family, Christmas trees, New Years Eve plans and busy, busy days I called Gary and asked him to have a light lunch and to be home by 7; at which time he came home to drunken pasta (better than a drunken Hayley.)

I had no real recipe going in,  just knew that I wanted to combine a few of Gary’s favorite things, we had about half a bottle of red wine that had been opened for a few days that I wanted to cook with, and that we needed a dinner with just the two of us around our table, enjoying each other.   To my luck, the pasta was a huge success both in flavor and giving us an opportunity to enjoy a quiet night together.  Which was highlighted with a 2001 Merlot from Rocca Family Vineyards, elegant and refined with vibrant cherry, plum and currant flavors married with baking spices.


Drunken Pasta
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 large/2 small carrots, diced
1 zucchini squash, diced
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your palate…we like a lot)
1 large can stewed tomatoes, chopped with the juice
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 1/2 cups red wine
6 oz angel hair pasta, or your favorite
3 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Fill a large soup pot with water, 1 cup of the red wine, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon salt and begin heating on medium high heat to cook your pasta.  The red wine in the pasta water turns the pasta a beautiful purple color.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large Dutch oven with the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and begin sauteing over medium heat until the veggies are soft.  Add the zucchini, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, cinnamon and about 1 teaspoon salt and pepper each and continue sauteing.  As soon as the water begins to boil for your pasta drop your pasta, stir and allow to cook.  After the zucchini is slightly tender add the tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire and cook until the liquid has reduced about 1/4.  When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the sauce reserving the liquid.  If the sauce is too thick add about 1/4 cup of cooking water at a time to create the consistency you like.  Stir in the parsley and basil.  Adjust your seasoning and serve with a hearty sprinkling of shredded parmesan cheese.

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