Conchiglie Pasta Kissed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Red Wine

This spicy Pasta dish has been one of those recipes that has been on and off my menu planner for weeks now – since most of the ingredients are those always on hand, it was easy to push out when life does what it does and things get in the way.

The night we planned to cook it up, Kiddo surprised me. He said for me to sit down and let him do all the cooking. Couldn’t argue with a great offer like that. He read through the recipe and asked if he could make a few adjustments. Go for it. Kiddo increased the garlic and the wine, toned down the red pepper flakes and came up with a recipe that was in keeping with the overall spirit of the original, but with his own take on things. When it came time to clean up the kitchen,  I had to laugh. Hubby said there were nearly as many dirty bowls, chopping boards and knives in the sink that would have been there had I been cooking.

Conchiglie Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Red Wine
16 oz Conchiglie pasta (Shell Pasta)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried Red Chili flakes
1 package (5.5oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (½ cup when chopped)
2 large Italian tomatoes, finely chopped (2 cups when chopped)
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely shredded basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat large pot of well-salted water for pasta. While water comes to a boil, gather and prepare all the ingredients. Cooking times are quick, so have everything at the ready.

DO NOT start cooking your ingredients until water for pasta comes to a boil. Timing is everything.

Heat oil in a heavy based skillet over medium heat and cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown. Add garlic and stir for one minute.

Meanwhile boil pasta in plenty of salted water as per packet instructions until al dente, about 9 minutes. Remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain remaining water from pasta, keep shells warm.

Increase heat skillet to medium-high. Add the Red Chili Pepper Flakes, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes and cook 5 minutes, stirring.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the red wine, reduce heat and cook until absorbed, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Add 2/3 of the grated cheese, basil and 1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to the tomato mixture, heat until piping hot and then toss in the pasta. If necessary, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time. Adjust seasoning and serve hot with the rest of cheese on the side.

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