Primarily because it was on this set where I met my dearest friend. We spent the heinously long hours bantering back and forth on walkie-talkies and bonded over our mutual love for really dumb movies, of which we both knew every line. Reciting those lines to each other in terrible accents is a ritual that now annoys our husbands to no end.
I also cherish this job for the many stellar recipes I picked up while working there. One of my absolute favorites is Michael’s take on red wine pasta. I love the bitterness of the broccoli with the sweet, heady nature of the wine. Apparently it is one of his favorites too—it appears on the menu at his Napa Valley restaurant, Bottega, as well as in his newest cookbook, Michael Chiarello’s Bottega.
- 1 medium head broccoli, tough stems removed and cut into long, thin pieces
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 (750 ml) bottle Zinfandel
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves sliced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Parmesan cheese for serving, optional
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook until just tender. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Once water has returned to a boil, add spaghetti. Cook halfway through, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain and return empty pot to stove.
- Add wine and sugar to pot, bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the pasta and gently stir with tongs to break apart the strands. Boil over high heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the broccoli and pepper flakes and season again with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until broccoli is coated in oil and garlic is golden. Add half of the reserved water and stir to combine.
- Add broccoli mixture to the pasta and toss gently. Add more of the pasta water if spaghetti is too dry. Serve with cheese if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g