750 g (1½ lb) rapini (may substitute broccoli rabe or broccolini)
500 g (1 lb) spaghettini or spaghetti
750ml bottle of Zinfandel or Viognier
15 g (1 tbsp) sugar
80 ml (⅓ c) extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
5 ml (1 tsp) Calabrian chilli paste (may substitute minced jarred Calabrian chillies or flakes)
5 ml (1 tsp) coarse sea salt (kosher salt), preferably gray salt
2.5 ml (½ tsp) freshly ground black pepper
45 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Bring an 8L (10 qt) pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rapini, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the rapini to a baking sheet using tongs and spread it out to cool. Do not drain the water.
Using the same water, cook the spaghettini for half the time indicated on the package instructions (about 3 to 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Reserve 240 ml (1 c) of the pasta water; drain the pasta in a colander and set it aside.
Return the empty pasta pot to the stove. Pour the wine and sugar into the drained pasta pot and boil vigorously over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spaghettini to the pot and shake the pot to prevent the 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).
While the pasta cooks in the wine, heat a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat; once hot, pour in the olive oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and sauté until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Add the chilli paste, blanched rapini and salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in half of the reserved pasta water (or as much as needed). Combine with the spaghettini, tossing gently. Garnish with the grated cheese.
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