Recipes | Red wine spaghetti with olives and anchovies


Red wine spaghetti with olives and anchovies

I stumbled across a recipe for cooking spaghetti in red wine when I was researching my latest book Wine lover's kitchen. It sounded so bizarre I had to give it a try and can vouch for the fact that it’s delicious! It would be a bit expensive to make for a crowd so this quantity is designed to feed 2–3. And my version is dairy-free.

500 ml/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons full-bodied fruity red wine

250g/9oz. wholewheat spaghetti

50g/2oz. can of anchovies

1–2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

70g/2/3 cup pitted olives with herbs

1/2 tsp Turkish dried chilli flakes/red pepper flakes

3 tbsp passata or 1 tbsp concentrated tomato purée/paste

25g/1 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

sea salt

Serves 2–3

Measure 400 ml/1 3/4 cups of the red wine into a saucepan and add 500ml/2 cups plus 2 tbsp water. Bring to the boil, add a teaspoon of salt and partially cook the spaghetti for about 7–8 minutes. Drain, reserving half a cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile drain the can of anchovies, reserving the oil. Add the oil from the anchovies plus enough additional olive oil to make 3 tablespoons in total, pour into a frying pan/skillet and fry the garlic slices over a very low heat.

Chop the anchovies and halve the olives. Add the chilli/red pepper flakes to the garlic, stir in the passata or tomato purée/paste and tip in the reserved pasta cooking water and the rest of the wine. Bring to the boil, add the anchovies and olives and simmer for a few minutes. Tip the partially cooked spaghetti into the sauce and leave over a low to medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add about three-quarters of the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss well. Serve in warm bowls with the remaining parsley sprinkled on top.

What to drink

The same wine you use to make the dish or a hearty Sicilian red like a Nero d’Avola.

Image © Mowie Kay

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