Pheasant Reserve Spaghetti

  • 1 pound asparagus, bottoms removed and remainder cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 bottlePrairie Berry Pheasant Reserve wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½-1 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes, to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and put in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes. Allow nuts to cool to room temperature before placing in air-tight container if not using immediately.

Blanch asparagus in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large colander to drain then transfer to a bowl.

Reserve asparagus-cooking water in pot and return to a boil and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes (pasta will not be fully cooked). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta in colander.

Return empty pot to stovetop. Add wine and sugar to pot and boil vigorously for 2 minutes, until the liquid is reduced a bit.

Add spaghetti and shake pot to prevent pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes. Pasta will be al dente.

Immediately after adding spaghetti, cook garlic and red pepper flakes with the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 5 minutes.

Add asparagus, salt and pepper to spaghetti mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the olive oil, garlic and pepper from the skillet.

Add ½ cup of reserved pasta water and carefully toss spaghetti mixture with tongs to combine. Cook while stirring, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and season freshly with black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.