Meatless Monday Wine Pairing: Peppery Absorption-Cooked Red Wine Capellini

May 14, 2012

This recipe for Peppery Absorption-Cooked Red Wine Capellini, generously shared by Michael Natkin from his new cookbook Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes, provides a great opportunity not just for a Meatless Monday wine pairing, but to talk about choosing a wine for cooking. In his recipe, Micheael calls for an inexpensive Spanish Tempranillo, which is a great choice. Inexpensive, however, does not mean cheap or poorly-made. My rule of thumb is that you should make sure you cook with a wine that you'd want to drink on its own. If it's not good enough to drink, why would you want to cook with it? There are plenty of $10 Spanish Tempranillos that will fit the bill, or look for a wine from the Rioja region, which will be primarily Tempranillo.

And since you only need (give or take) 1 1/2 cups of that wine, you can pour yourself (and a friend) a glass of that Spanish Tempranillo to enjoy alongside your pasta. It's a wine that goes well with the peppery and smoky flavors.

Note: Avoid "cooking wine" under all circumstances. It's low-quality wine with loads of salt and other ingredients. Again, you wouldn't want to drink it (and I shudder at the thought of tasting it) so don't cook with it.

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