Piedmontese pasta

(food styling/lisa falso; Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff)
February 25, 2009

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Serves 4

Traditionally served over homemade meat ravioli, this bold, velvety red-wine sauce has long warmed the people of Piedmont in Italy's north. It's based on one cup each of wine and stock, reduced to a dark rich mixture that coats silky strands of egg fettuccine for a lighter take on a hearty mountain meal. Season the mixture with a pinch of red pepper flakes and earthy, fresh rosemary. Serve as an accompaniment to a pork or beef roast, replacing some of the stock with those savory pan juices. Or make it the main course for an easy weeknight dinner. Authentic versions use Barolo, but any big, Italian red wine will work. Save some for the cook.

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound dried fettuccine
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. It should not be cooked through; the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.

2. Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots, garlic, rosemary, and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the shallots soften.

3. Add the wine, and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a boil and let it bubble steadily for 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Add chicken stock and let it bubble steadily for 5 minutes more. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the butter.

4. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring gently, until the pasta absorbs most of the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley and toss again.

Catherine Smart