Dinner Tonight: Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli

I've long been mildly interested in the idea of cooking pasta in red wine, having seen it a couple times in various recipes, but before now I'd never tried it. Mostly, it just seemed like a waste of wine. But after a dinner party guest had bequeathed me a very, very mediocre bottle of Tempranillo that I'd been trying to finish (it wasn't going well), this recipe came across my path while I was searching for a broccoli recipe. So I figured it was worth a shot.

The recipe, from Gourmet, cooks the pasta for half the time in regular salted water, then finishes it absorption-style in the wine. The wine gives the spaghetti not only that crazy color, but also an interesting tang, something slightly acidic and, admittedly, pretty tasty. Though the broccoli was a straightforward affair with garlic and red pepper flakes (straightforward, but delicious), together with the pasta it ended up being a surprisingly elegant and off-beat dinner.

Dinner Tonight: Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: This Week In Recipes


  • 1 3/4 pounds broccoli
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. 1

    Cut the broccoli into small florets, discarding any thick stems. Bring a large pot of salty water to boil and boil the florets for a couple minutes until halfway cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander, keeping the boiling water.

  2. 2

    Add the pasta to the water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until about halfway cooked. Drain in a colander. Add the wine to the pot, along with the sugar, and bring to a boil. Add the pasta back to the pot, stirring well to avoid sticking. Cook, stirring with tongs, until the wine is absorbed and the pasta is al dente.

  3. 3

    While the pasta is cooking in the wine, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is pale golden, then add the broccoli, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional minute.

  4. 4

    Add the broccoli to the spaghetti along with most of the cheese. Toss well and divide into bowls. Serve with remaining cheese sprinkled on top.


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