Monday, July 13, 2009

The lazy lady's purple pasta

Tonight I threw together a bunch of monotonously purple-hued foods - radicchio, red wine infused pasta, currants, oil-cured anchovies (ok, that's a stretch) - and ended up with something deliciously complex in taste. I shall call it...

Purple Pasta with a Punch (or: Red Wine Pasta with Radicchio and Currants)
Yield: 2-3 servings

- 1/2 lb. whole wheat linguine (or other long pasta)
- 1/2 bottle good-quality red wine
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1 small head radicchio, thinly shredded
- 1/4 cup currants, soaked in a few spoonfuls red wine (or water)
- handful of mesclun greens
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- sprinkling of toasted pine nuts (or nut of choice - I like walnuts)
- crushed red pepper & salt to taste

1. Put up a salted pot of water to boil. Once rolling, add the pasta and cook till 3/4 done. Meanwhile, slowly bring the wine to a boil in a separate saucepan. Drain pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking water, then return pasta to the pot, and pour the now boiling wine over it. Simmer over medium-low heat until wine is mostly absorbed and pasta is a rich purple.
2. In a saucepan (I used the former wine-heating pan to reduce clean-up), heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic and anchovies at once. Cook until mixture is fragrant and garlic is golden. Add radicchio and enough pasta water to keep mixture wet, sprinkle in salt, stir a bit, and cover to steam a few minutes.
3. Add the anchovy-radicchio sauce and soaked currants to the pasta and stir together. Divide into bowls and fold in some mesclun greens for color, and cheese, nuts, and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot or lukewarm.

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