Wine Night: Red Zin Bucatini + a Poached Egg
I’ve been wanting to cook pasta in red wine for a while now. I think I first saw it on one of those step-by-step videos on my Facebook feed. I kind of forgot about it until I was looking at Foodgawker and found this recipe for bucatini cooked in red wine with an egg on it. I combined that recipe with a Giada recipe where the pasta actually sounded a little better. And I added my own touch with my current favorite specialty ingredient: Calabria Chili Paste. I’ve used it in my recipe for Pasta all’Amatriciana, among other things. It’s a little pricey, but it’s so good. Calabria chili paste is basically a spread of hot peppers and olive oil. If you don’t want to buy it or don’t own it, just substitute crushed red pepper flakes. But I think it’s fun trying out new ingredients.
This pasta dish marks the first time I’ve ever actually had bucatini and the first time in years I’ve cooked with white pasta. I also couldn’t find bucatini at any grocery store, so I ordered it on Amazon. All that being said, I really had high hopes for this dish. Thank goodness it did not disappoint. I mean, it was actually super fabulous, and a great grown up pasta dish. Now I that I have 4 more boxes of bucatini, I want to try it with carbonara and a beef short rib ragu and probably with my amatriciana sauce. I think heavy and/or spicy sauces will do really well with bucatini. If you don’t know, bucatini is a long pasta that looks like spaghetti. The difference is that bucatini is hollow in the middle. It makes for a really chewy pasta and perfect when cooked al dente.
I got to make this for the first time at my monthly girls’ wine night with two of my favorite girlfriends, Lisa and Laura. We always have so much fun together. This time, we each brought a Red Zinfandel and paired a dish with it. I used a cheaper bottle to cook the pasta in, and a better bottle to drink with it.
This recipe calls for a poached egg. If you are nervous about poaching eggs, you’re not alone! If I haven’t done it in a while, I get really nervous too. But really, it’s just eggs, they’re like a $1.50 for 12. That said, I will lay it out for you as best I can, so your eggs will turn out. If you don’t like poached eggs, the pasta is great on its own, but the runny egg adds extra creaminess that fits perfectly with the zesty pasta. Here we go…
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty Level: Medium
1 pound bucatini pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of Calabria chili paste
1 750 ml size bottle of red zinfandel (I used Rex Goliath for this…it’s like $5 a bottle)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly grated asiago cheese
1 poached egg per person, recipe follows
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini, and cook for 5 minutes, or until about half done (parcooked).
- Drain the pasta (Now, Giada’s recipe says to reserve some pasta water, which I did. But I didn’t end up needing it). In the same pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and chili paste, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the bottle of red zinfandel and the tomato paste. Bring it up to a simmer at medium-high heat. Cook uncovered for a minute or 2, and break up the paste along the way to make sure it’s not clumpy.
- Bring down the heat to medium, and add the pasta back to the pot.
- Stir frequently with tongs, and cook until most of the wine has absorbed and the pasta is now al dente. If you think the pasta looks too dry, you may add some of the reserved pasta water to the dish. (I didn’t end up adding any pasta water back).
- Add the butter and chopped parsley, and toss to coat and combine thoroughly.
- Serve with a warm, runny, creamy poached egg on top, if you’re into that. My poaching technique is as follows:
Poached Egg Technique
- Use a shallow pan, and fill it up with water about 1 ½ to 2 inches with water. Pour plenty of salt in the water.
- Heat it up over medium heat, or until you see small bubbles rising to the top, but do not let it come to a full-on boil.
- Crack one egg into a small bowl and set aside.
- Using a slotted spoon, create a whirlpool in the center of the pan.
- Holding the bowl at an angle right over the water (as close as you can), very gently drop the egg in the center of the whirlpool.
- Watch the egg cook for about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully and jiggle it gently to see when the white has set, but the center is still liquid.
- Using the slotted spoon again, gently lift the egg out of the water and slide it onto the pasta.