Wonderful things happen when you have some leftover wine (from some delicious red wine brownies) and some chickpea pasta handy. If you love simple and elegant meals that can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes, you are going to love this gluten-free red wine pasta as much as our taste buds do - yum!
What you'll love about this gluten-free red wine pasta
Many red wine pasta recipes call for a bottle (or two) of red wine. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are on a budget, or have some leftover wine to use, an entire bottle might not be convenient. This recipe only needs 1 ½ cups of red wine to make a delicious sauce.
I do enjoy this pasta with some fresh Parmesan cheese shavings, but you can omit this garnish for a vegan-friendly version.
You can whip up enough for 4 people in less than 30 minutes! Speedy, delicious, and elegant makes this a trifecta!
Red wine: Select a gluten-free red wine that is a good quality (a brand you would be willing to drink) since the red wine is the foundation of the flavor. Since you only need 1 ½ cups, you can use the bottle for another recipe, or for serving. I tend to rotate between a Malbec and Cabernet, preferring a dry wine with lots of body to carry the dish.
Chickpea pasta: I prefer chickpea pasta for a gluten-free pasta alternative. Banza is our trusted brand, but I do enjoy Barilla's version as well. The pasta is going to cook quickly and the cooking water might foam, so be prepared to adjust the heat, stir consistently, and add a drizzle of olive oil to the water, if needed.
Garlic cloves: There is no strict rule of thumb for how much garlic to use, so it is ok to follow your heart, as any good garlic-lover would encourage. I used 6 large cloves.
Shallot: The shallot offers a mild onion aromatic flavor to the dish, and this is also an ingredient you can adjust to suit your needs. I use half a large shallot, or about 1-2 tablespoon minced.
Fat and Seasonings
Extra virgin olive oil: Some pasta recipes do add butter (in addition to the olive oil) late in the cooking process, for both flavor and texture. I like adding the last tablespoon of olive oil for the dish as a way to keep the noodles from sticking to one another and add a little fat and texture to the dish.
Fresh parsley: The idea to add parsley is an effort to incorporate a relatively subtle herb into the dish, without overpowering the other flavors. Fresh parsley has a more delicate flavor than dried, so if you only have dried on hand, try stirring in only 1 tablespoon dried parsley, taste, and determine if you want more.
Kosher salt: Use the kosher salt when cooking for even distribution.
Coarse sea salt: A little coarse sea salt as a garnish gives the red wine pasta a little more of a rustic feel.
Freshly-ground black pepper: Just a pinch will do, but you can certainly add more to taste.
Gluten-Free Red Wine Pasta
- Large saucepan
- 8 cups water
- 8 ounces chickpea pasta linguine I use Banza brand
- 1½ cups gluten-free red wine I use a dry wine, like Cabernet
- 6 large cloves garlic minced
- ½ large shallot minced
- ¼ cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley
- 3 pinches kosher salt
- 1 pinch freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 pinch coarse sea salt for garnish
- Bring 8 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add noodles and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes.
- If the pasta water foams, add a drizzle of olive oil to the water and continue stirring. You can also turn the heat down just a bit.
- While the chickpea pasta is cooking, add garlic, shallot, and 2 tablespoon olive oil to a nonstick skillet and sweat until the edges of the garlic and shallot start to darken.
- Add red wine and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Drain the pasta and add to the noodles to the red wine "sauce" in the skillet. Add kosher salt and pepper. Stir until the noodles are thoroughly coated and cook until al dente and the noodles adopt a purple hue.
- Stir in the last tablespoon of olive oil. When ready, garnish with Parmesan cheese flakes, chopped parsely, and coarse sea salt. Add additional garnish or pepper, if desired.
This red wine pasta recipe is practically foolproof, but here are a few tips to ensure you love your meal:
Stay near the stove for each step and stir the pasta frequently. If it foams, continue to stir and add a few drops of olive oil to the cooking water.
Only cook the chickpea pasta for about 7 minutes. It will continue cooking when added to the red wine mixture in the skillet. Of course, follow the cooking instructions on your pasta package.
When deglazing the skillet, allow the red wine to come to a very gentle boil (just a few minutes) before adding the drained linguine noodles and tossing to combine. It should only take a few minutes for the noodles to absorb the wine and aromatics.
Don't allow the pasta to sit for more than 30 minutes in the skillet, if you are using a non-enameled cast iron due to the acidity in the wine.
Use a full-bodied, good-quality wine that you wouldn't mind enjoying as a drink. The wine plays such a prominent role in the dish, you want something that is palatable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you cook with red wine in a cast iron skillet?
Yes, you can! The acidity from the red wine does not generate off flavors from the cast iron because the length of cooking time is relatively short.
How long does it take to develop off-flavors if using acidic ingredients in a cast iron skillet?
The idea that you can't use acidic ingredients in a cast iron skillet is a myth that has been busted. A few factors contribute to how long you can cook with acidic ingredients in a cast iron pan before they develop a metallic flavor.
- Is the cast iron skillet enameled? You don't have to worry about the length of time at all. There are no issues, due to acidity, when baking or cooking in enameled cast iron cookware.
- How well-seasoned is the cast iron skillet? Make sure you are working with a cast iron skillet that is well-seasoned and has few, if any, bare spots that make the pan - and food - more vulnerable. If the skillet has an uneven seasoning, portions of the pan might react more quickly with your ingredients.
America's Test Kitchen offers a good rule-of-thumb in this article: Check the dish every 15 minutes to make sure it's not developing a metallic flavor, or visibly altering the look of the pan (a little harder to determine while you are cooking). According to their studies, a tomato-sauce dish (lots of acid!) was perfectly flavorful until passing the 30-minute mark. So, interact with your food and understand how long your particular dish tastes with your particular cast iron.
Does the type of red wine matter?
The specific type of red wine is a personal preference. I like a full-bodied wine with a little dryness to balance the fruity notes in wine. When cooked with garlic and other savory aromatics, I think a good-quality, dry red wine is the best compliment for very simple ingredients. Too many added sugars or alternative flavors will cause you to loose control of the dish.
If you aren't sure what red wine to pick, Merlot is always a solid choice. Tannins in red wine can create off-flavors in and of themselves, but there are ways to avoid this. Either cook wine with protein-rich ingredients (chickpea pasta is higher in protein than traditional pasta, but would not have as much as meat) or select a wine that is naturally low in tannins. Merlots offer a dry, fruity flavor and are low in tannins. Yay!
So, what flavor does red wine add to food?
Simply, red wine is going to provide a wide array of flavors to food. Quite a bit depends upon the type of grape and, therefore, the type of wine of you choose. Generally, red wine contributes a (1) tartness from acid, (2) sweetness from sugar, (3) savory notes from succinic acid, (4) and other aromatics. What is particularly interesting is that the aromatics in red wine are what change during the cooking process - not the tart, sweet, or savory undertones. Cooking does reduce the alcohol, making the overall flavor less harsh, but does concentrate tannins (which can be astringent) unless you accommodate for those tannins with a low-tannin wine or protein-rich ingredients.
What other dishes can I make with red wine?
Interested in using the rest of the bottle for cooking, baking, and - of course, a little simultaneous sipping? Try adding some red wine to your traditional meat or tomato sauce and spoon that over cooked pasta as a more hearty dish. Consider baking with a hint of red wine, which goes SO well with chocolate dishes (the classic girls' night in combo). If you are feeling a little more epicurean and enjoy making your own homemade pasta noodles, you could also infuse pasta dough with red wine and give it a very rustic feel. The most classic use for red wine in cooking is deglazing a pan when cooking meat dishes before adding a little butter and flour or starch to thicken the quick sauce. That is ultimately what we did in this recipe, but we omitted the butter and opted for olive oil to create our desired texture.
How long can I store red wine pasta after cooking?
If you cook this red wine pasta in a cast iron skillet, remove it from the pan as soon as you are done cooking. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in a sauté pan with just a splash of water, or in the microwave. Don't forget to garnish with the ingredients of your choice (I enjoy some fresh Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley) before eating.
If you prefer large shavings of Parmesan cheese, use a carrot peeler on a fresh block of cheese for a rustic look. You can crumble the cheese into smaller bits using your hands.
Looking for a few more recipes to showcase your wine?
Sip on some wine and add a little of your vino to these delicious recipes:
Healthier Red Wine Brownies (made with a few secret ingredients for a guilt-free dessert!)
Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi with a White Wine Sauce (need I say more?)
I can't wait to hear how you showcase your wine! Until next time, friends, cheers to your hearth, health, and happiness!