This midnight pasta recipe is basically a version of spaghetti aglio e olio — spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. The dish is said to have originated in Naples, though here it’s long been a late-night go-to for people working in restaurants. It was a menu staple at the old Sal’s in Provincetown’s West End and remains on the menu at Ciro and Sal’s in the East End.
You really can drink just about anything with simple midnight pasta. For this dinner, your wine decision might depend more on why you are having a late-night meal: are you just home from work and tired and hungry? Or on a fun date that’s turned into something a bit more special?
Since the dish is from Naples, you could consider a wine from Campania, the wine region near Naples and the Amalfi Coast. The region produces excellent reds and whites. For reds, look for bottlings of the Aglianico grape native to the region. These reds will be very flavorful but not overly acidic. For whites, look for a Greco di Tufo or Falanghina. There is an excellent blend of white Campania grapes called Lacryma Christi. The whites will be crisp with a delicate finish. These wines are found at different price points with fairly consistent quality, so shop according to your budget and the occasion.
If you can’t find any of these, red wines from Tuscany (traditionally, Sangiovese grapes) are always a good bet — from a simple Chianti to a pricier Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. For a white, Pinot Grigio is an easy find, though it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to find one that’s origin designated (look for “DOC” or “DOCG” on the label) from the Friuli or Alto Adige regions of Northern Italy.