Recipe: Peppery Absorption-Cooked Red Wine Capellini
Save time by cooking pasta along with its vegan sauce in this Herbivoracious recipe
Peppery Absorption-Cooked Red-Wine Capellini
- 1 lb capellini
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- half large white onion, thinly sliced
- 6 clove garlic
- 1 1/2 lb zucchini, diced
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- 1 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tsp minced, fresh rosemary
- 1 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 1/4 cup water, plus additional as needed
Total time: 30 minutes
Or with your favorite:Tempranillo |
Recipe from Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin
Cooking pasta by the absorption method instead of the usual technique may seem a bit scary to those of us who grew up with noodle orthodoxy. Actually, it is a great way to cook pasta and it can be a big time-saver. You do not have to wait for water to boil and if you design your sauce and condiment to be built in with the pasta, you do not have two pots to clean at the end.
For this recipe, I toast the capellini in the oven first. This is characteristic of how noodles are handled in Spain and Mexico (where the pasta is called fideos) and the Middle East. I enjoy the additional browned flavors. You can do this while prepping and sautéing your vegetables.
Because the tomatoes and zucchini cook along with the noodles, I call for less initial liquid than you will see in most absorption-cooked pasta recipes. Instead, you will check along the way and add more as needed. Be sure to reserve some of the tomatoes for garnish. I love to include an ingredient in both cooked and raw forms in the same dish to experience its full range of flavors.
This dish is quite assertive, with substantial quantities of red wine, black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic. It is not one I would necessarily recommend serving to young children or those who prefer milder tastes.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Break the capellini into approximately 3-inch lengths. Spread the pasta on a baking sheet, slide it into the oven and toast, tossing occasionally with tongs, until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot (at least 5 1⁄2 quarts) with a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, a pinch of salt and cook, allowing them only to soften and grow aromatic, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the zucchini and another pinch of salt. Sauté until the zucchini is well browned, about 5 more minutes.
3. Place the noodles on top of the zucchini mixture. Layer the asparagus and 1 cup of the cherry tomatoes on top of that and sprinkle in the smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and rosemary. Pour the red wine and water over the top. Toss as best you can with tongs; it will be hard at first because the noodles are stiff. Return the heat to medium and cover the pot.
4. Every 3 minutes, remove the lid and toss the pasta. The total cooking time will be 8 to 12 minutes. Toward the end, taste a noodle each time you remove the lid to see if it is done. If not and there isn’t any moisture left on the bottom of the pot, add a bit more wine or water, about 1⁄3 cup.
5. When the noodles are done to your liking, taste and make any final adjustments to the seasoning. Transfer to serving bowls. Garnish with the remaining 1⁄2 cup cherry tomatoes, the parsley, and another grind of black pepper. Serve immediately.