Pasta al Vino Rosso
4 1/2 cups dry, somewhat fruity red wine (e.g., Beaujolais, Montepulciano, Zinfandel, Chianti Classico)
5-5 1/2 teaspoons salt
60 grinds very coarse black pepper
Scant 3/4 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
2 ozs. pine-nuts (6 tablespoons by measure)
2 heads garlic (more or less, depending on size: enough f/6 tablespoons, sliced, after peeling/trimming)
1 dry pint cherry tomatoes
2 lbs. fettuccine (or other pasta of choice)
1/4 cup (2 ozs./4 tablespoons) olive oil
6 teaspoons butter
1. Combine wine, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and sugar; set aside. In a dry skillet on medium-low heat, stir pine-nuts until lightly toasted, i.e., a shade darker than raw ones, with some flecks of gold. Once hot, they overcook quickly; so do not leave unattended. Remove from heat and set aside. Peel only enough garlic cloves to equal 6 tablespoons after trimming off root nubs and slicing thinly crosswise. Halve cherry tomatoes to equal about 2 rounded cups after cutting.
2. In a large pot of rapidly boiling, lightly-salted water, cook pasta half way only. It should be flexible and somewhat swelled, but still too crunchy to eat and showing more yellowish than white color. Meanwhile, the last 3 minutes pasta cooks, place a very large skillet, or a large, wide saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. When pan is hot, add and heat olive oil.
3. When pasta is half cooked, quickly drain well and immediately add to olive oil pan. Stir and toss for 1 minute. Add garlic and the wine mixture and continue stirring or turning with tongs until almost all wine is absorbed. Meanwhile, re-warm pine-nuts for a minute or two.
4. Add cherry tomatoes and butter to pasta and continue to cook, stirring, just until tomatoes are hot through. Garnish each serving with toasted pine nuts.
Pasta al Vino Rosso (Pasta in Red Wine Sauce)
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