sometimes i'm craving pasta, but i'm just not interested in making a red sauce from scratch. yes, i could go out and buy a jar of pre-made sauce, but let's be honest here, most jarred sauce is too sweet or too boring. so today i thought i would add some sweetness AND color without the red sauce by making the noodles red! and then, of course, toss in some fresh veggies to top it off. can you tell i'm in desperate need of spring and color??
1/2 bunch of fresh asparagus - sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 leeks - sliced thin
4 cloves garlic - chopped
4 cups red wine - preferably a sweet wine such as red zin or chianti
1 handful of thin spaghetti
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion boullion cube - crushed
in a medium pot, bring 5-6 quarts of water to a boil. add some salt and a dash of olive oil, then add your asparagus and cook them for 3-4 minutes. drain right away and place the asparagus into cold water to keep them from over cooking. set to the side.
in the same pot, bring another 5-6 quarts of water to a boil. cook spaghetti for approximately 4 minutes. drain your pasta. add your red wine and sugar to pot and boil for 2-3 minutes until wine is reduced a bit.
add spaghetti and stir until pasta is coated. you will now need to bring this to a boil, stirring occasionally until most of the wine is absorbed, pasta should then be al dente.
in a skillet at medium heat add some oil, garlic and leeks. cook until the leeks have softened a bit. add your asparagus, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. stirr together over low heat until the flavors have married.
plate your spaghetti then add your asparagus and leek mixture to the top. add your crushed onion boullion and salt and pepper to taste. drizzle with a bit of olive oil right before serving.
serve with a big glass of the ol red wine.