Red Wine Bucatini with Pancetta and Parmesan.
This is where I try to convince you to make red wine pasta!
Annnd moving right along to Valentine’s Day dinner… here we are!
Though I have to say that I would like a plate of red wine bucatini for dinner TONIGHT. Just a regular old Wednesday. I mean, why not?
I first saw this recipe before Christmas and instantly wanted it but also instantly thought it would be perrrfect for Valentine’s Day. Seriously, I haven’t stopped thinking about it! And of course, I was super intrigued too – pasta tossed in red wine? HELLO! I am so there.
I have never seen anything like this or even heard of the dish (though a quick google search told me it’s definitely a thing) – most likely because I have zero Italian roots anywhere. Plus, it’s my least favorite cuisine so it’s not like I’m out searching for Italian recipes to make all the time.
Red wine pasta might be a game changer. Italian food is slowly creeping up the list for me.
What I love about this recipe?
It’s oddly simple. Simple in terms of ingredients – not flavor! It’s kind of like a cacio e pepe or an easy traditional carbonara. A pasta tossed with tons of flavor and not lots of ingredients – it’s not like there is shrimp or a lot of roasted vegetables or anything twirled in between the noodles. You know?
Instead, you cook a ton of garlic and red pepper flakes until golden and fragrant and THEN you pour in an entire bottle of red wine. Yes. An entire bottle! You cook it down until it has reduced by nearly half. Then you toss your pasta directly in it (with tons of butter) and the pasta soaks up all the wine.
In a really good way, that is. It soaks up all the rich flavor.
And then we go and make it even MORE flavorful by topping it with pancetta and parmesan and herbs.
I am completely in LOVE with this. It’s so different from anything I’ve had before. And I love the idea of serving it for Valentine’s Day! This alone is filling enough for me (I mean, sure, maybe add some garlic bread, why not?) but you could absolutely add something on the side! Like sautéed shrimp? Serve it as a side to a filet? Or just make a really big house salad to go along with it.
I swear you are going to love.it.
Red Wine Pasta with Pancetta and Parmesan
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 (750mL) bottle red wine, such as cabernet or pinot noir
- 1 pound bucatini pasta
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
- chopped fresh parsley and basil for topping
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook until the pancetta is crispy and the fat has been rendered. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease.
- Add the 1 tablespoon of butter to the pot and keep it over medium heat. Add in the garlic and pepper flakes with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and slightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the red wine and bring it to a book. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the wine reduces by ½ to ⅔ - this will take about 20 minutes.
- While the red wine is boiling, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the bucatini. Cook it until it’s very al dente - about 9 to 10 minutes - then transfer it to the red wine in the pot.
- Add the butter to the pot with the pasta as well. Toss the pasta in the red wine sauce and cook it for another 2 to 3 minutes - the sauce will thicken and the noodles will soak it up. Toss in the pancetta.
- Serve the pasta and top with the parmesan and herbs.
This dinner is gold.