Fabio Viviani's debut cookbook, Fabio's Italian Kitchen, is our Top Pick in Cookbooks! Writes Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt, "Fabio’s food is old world, old school; it’s “not meant to impress, it’s meant to feed people.” When you add his Mom’s Meatballs, Drunken Spaghetti and Chicken with Marsala Sauce to your repertoire, you’ll be feeding family and friends real Italian home cooking, and you’ll agree that Fabio is favoloso!"
In Italy we feel bad throwing away even old wine, so we color our pasta water with it to get a little aroma of wine and a dramatic presentation. The flavor of the wine is in the water but you’re not going to feel it, and you give leftover wine a last chance to be useful. The more wine you use, the redder the spaghetti will be—and this dish is all about the presentation, so you can use up to a whole bottle depending on how much you have around. You can also always buy an inexpensive bottle just for the recipe.
- 2 quarts water
- 1 bottle red wine (old or leftover is fine)
- 1 lb. dry spaghetti
- ½ lb. pancetta, diced
- 2 tbsp. butter
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- Shaved Pecorino cheese to top
Bring the water and the wine to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta in it until the pasta is al dente (see tip on page 79). Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
Add the spaghetti and about 1 tablespoon of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Once the liquid has reduced, remove the pasta from the heat.
Add the ricotta and walnuts and mix with tongs. Top with the Pecorino and serve.