Red wine and pasta.
Are there any two things that bring to mind Italy and its culture faster than those? Pasta is practically Italy’s national dish and there are so many varieties that you’re sure never to get bored of them.
And of course, Italy produces some of the most remarkable red wines in the world. Anybody who’s had so much as a sniff of Chianti or Barolo will be able to tell you just why the country has the reputation for wine that it enjoys.
It’s easy to get your hands on pasta from any supermarket.
But what if you want to get a little more creative? Perhaps you want to make your own pasta using the bottle of Italian red wine that you picked up the other day.
If so, that’s where this article comes in. We’re going to share a gorgeous recipe for Homemade Italian red wine pasta.
This recipe is remarkably simple and comes from the wonderful people at Leite’s Culinaria.
You only need a handful of ingredients to get it made. They include the following:
- Four eggs (Large)
- A couple of cups of red wine. This should ideally be a dry red wine.
- A couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Eight cups of 00 flour, plus a little extra that you’ll use to dust the pasta. 00 flour is a special flour produced in Italy that’s specifically for making pasta.
- A little bit of semolina flour, which you’ll also use for dusting.
- A pinch of salt for taste.
While this recipe has a small ingredients list, it does require you to do a little bit of legwork to make the actual pasta. There’s nothing too complicated going on. However, expect to spend about an hour preparing, with another 45 minutes spent waiting around.
Still, in return for that time you should get about two pounds of pasta.
Here’s what you need to do.
Crack all of your eggs into a large measuring cup. The cup should be able to hold about a litre and provide you with measurements to judge by.
Add both of your tablespoons of olive oil. Then, pour wine into the measuring jug until you hit the 750ml mark.
You should now whisk all of the ingredients together, ideally in the jug itself.
With those ingredients mixed, it’s time to turn to your flour.
Put all of the 00 flour into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the middle. Pour the mixture into the well and use your hands to mix everything together. Keep doing this until the flour and mixture create a dough ball.
Remove the dough ball from the bowl and place it onto a clean surface. Knead it for about ten minutes, after which the dough should get smooth and offer up so good elasticity.
You can test this by pressing the dough with your fingertip. If it springs back up immediately, it’s good to go.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave it to rest at room temperature for about half an hour.
Here comes the trick part. You’re going to form the pasta into pappardelle.
You’re going to need a pasta machine for this. Roll your dough through the machine the number 4 setting. When that’s done, dust the dough on both sides with your flour and lay it flat across a work surface.
You should have a sheet of dough that you can start cutting. Cut it width-wise so that you create sections that are about eight inches long.
Then, grab a straight pasta cutter and slice down the length of the pasta sheet. This creates noodles that are about an inch wide each.
Dust a baking tray with semolina flour.
Place your noodles onto the tray. The key here is that none of the pasta noodles should touch each other.
Of course, you can create whatever shapes you want. You don’t have to follow this recipe for this section.
Fill a large bot with water and add a little salt.
Bring the water to the boil and then add your pasta. Cook until the pasta is as done as you want it to be. About six or seven minutes should do the trick, though you’ll want to shave a couple of minutes off that time if you intend to toss the pasta in a skillet with a hot sauce.
Drain the pasta and it’s ready to serve.
The Wine Pairings
Now that you have your gorgeous homemade red wine pasta, it’s time to select a wine to serve with it.
The presence of the red wine in the pasta itself lends it a slightly more complex flavour.
A medium-bodied red should work fairly well here, especially if you serve the pasta alongside tomatoes. You might even be able to stretch to a Chianti, though it’s best to have some other rich ingredients with the pasta if you go down that route.
If you serve the pasta with cheese, you may want to go for an Italian white wine instead. A Chardonnay works well and we particularly recommend those that come out of Sicily. You might also plump for a Pinot Noir.
It all comes down to what you serve alongside the pasta. Seafood and cheese mesh well with white wines. Anything richer might require you to go searching through your collection of red wines.
The Final Word
While it might take a little bit of effort, this recipe allows you to make a gorgeous Italian red wine pasta from scratch.
It does give you a newfound appreciation for the efforts that those who make pasta for living make.
The wine pairings we recommend above should allow you to enjoy a tasty meal. But as we always say, it really comes down to personal preference. Experiment with a few different wines and you may find a pairing that works even better for you.
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