Drunken Tuscan Pasta

This is one of my favorite things to make, especially when I have company, because it’s such a filling, healthy meal: add a salad and you’ve got the entire menu! I’ve served it at dinner parties with either this or this. The only thing about it to really note is that it takes an entire bottle of wine, so if you, like me, are not an oenephile, you’ll need a bottle of Chianti to make this. (You can use any red wine, but since it’s Tuscan pasta, go for the Chianti.)

Adapted from Rachael Ray’s Express Lane Meals

Serves four-six

1 bottle Chianti

1 lb. spaghetti

kosher salt

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 lb. pancetta, cubed (You can buy it this way at the grocery–Trader Joe’s and Giant Eagle sell packages of it, and I just buy a bunch and keep them in my freezer, since pancetta figures into many of my favorite dishes)

3 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

a few pinches red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)

Chard or kale (I love to use rainbow chard): 10 oz bag or 4-5 cups (a lot of stalks).


Freshly ground black pepper

Grated parmesan cheese

Pour the wine into a large pot, and add water until you have enough liquid to cook the pasta. Place it over high heat. When it boils, add salt and pasta. Remove some of the pasta water to use in sauce.

While the water’s going, add two tbsp. EVOO to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to become golden around the edges. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate. Add the portobello caps to the pan and season with rosemary. Cook for 6-8 minutes until deeply golden. Move the mushrooms over to the side of the pan, add another tbsp. EVOO and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute, then combine with the mushrooms. Add the kale or chard and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Let the kale/chard cook down. Add some of the pasta water and let it reduce.

When the pasta is finished, drain, then add to the skillet with a handful of parmesan cheese. Toss and serve.

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