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Drunken Pasta


Here's a good reason to open a bottle of red wine - Drunken Pasta.  After slightly cooking your pasta in water, you finish cooking it in red wine.  It comes out a nice red color and very flavorful.   The recipe is easy and doesn't require a long list of ingredients. This is definitely a great little pantry dish.

What kind of red wine to use?  Something dry, fruity and good enough to drink - a Chianti or a Zinfandel works great. 

Although this is called "Drunken Pasta", you won't get drunk eating it - the alcohol basically cooks off!  

Drunken Pasta

serves 4 

for a printable recipe, click here



  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon red hot chili pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups red wine 
  • 8 ounces spaghetti 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablesoon chopped fresh parsley 




Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet, heat oil, garlic and chili pepper on low heat.  Gently cook about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn.  Remove the garlic and add the red wine. Increase the heat to medium. 

Add pasta to boiling water and cook for only about 3 minutes.  Drain well and add to the skillet, tossing in the wine with tongs until wine is absorbed and pasta is cooked, about 2 more minutes.  Test pasta for doneness. Taste for salt and add what you feel it needs.  Toss with the cheese and parsley and serve.


A couple of more great pantry pasta dishes:

Cacio e Pepe:

No-Cook Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce:

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (25)

What a great idea! And a nice way to liven up a week-day meal!

I have to make this for my sister! Simply delicious.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

This is beautiful!
Will this work as well for other types of pasta such as penne or rotini?

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenn


April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAhu

What a simple and lovely dish! Thanks for the idea!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy @My Turkish Joys

how fun!! definitely trying this! I love pasta in any way, shape or form :)

Oooh, I've always wanted to taste this! I have a nice bottle of Chianti laying around too, maybe I'll try this weekend. Gorgeous photos Elaine!!!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

This sounds so delicious! My mind is suggesting a variation with white wine and cream, and a sprinkling of fresh basil and parmesan!

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Pasta & wine; can't go wrong with that!!

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShaula

Divine! This has never crossed my mind. But it looks amazing! My husband will love it. :)

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I just made this tonight for my family. I doubled the recipe. Delizioso!
It was such a pretty color and had just the right amount of spice. Everybody loved it!

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCettina Cucina

Here's a pic of my dish. :)
Didn't have fresh pecorino.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCettina Cucina

Made this tonight - you've hit another home run!. I didn't have any parsley on hand so chopped up some fresh arugula instead. It was terrific - I wish I'd cooked the whole box of pasta. Thanks!

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKit

From The Italian Dish:

Jenn: You can use any pasta, but actually spaghetti works the best.

Cettina Cucina: Great photo - your pasta came out with a nice deep color.

April 14, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Nice receipe! Great job, I will have a try this weekend, I hop it works!!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

Wow, how easy is this! It looks fantastic and I'm sure will taste the same too, I'm trying this for dinner tomorrow.

Thanks for a great idea


April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLesley Jones

This looks incredible. I think I will try it with pecan crusted tilapia. The red pasta with the fish should create a tantalizing dish. Thank you for sharing!

That is a neat idea, we tend to go for pasta when we come home from work. This is a good way to change it up a bit.

May 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterilke

This dish looks absolutely amazing! For other great ides I'd love for anyone to check out my site

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark Bego

If you were going to serve "drunken pasta" at a dinner party, would it be the pasta course before the main course? And, what would you suggest for the main course to go with this pasta course?

February 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKalani

From The Italian Dish:

Kalani: You can serve this for sure as a first course pasta course. For the main course you could serve almost anything - roast chicken, beef braised in wine, roast pork. The main coarse does not have to be something that goes with red wine.

February 11, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

This looks wonderful! Which works best, dried or fresh pasta?

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCindi

What kind of wine works the best

December 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Can you do this with gluten free pasta? We are in an italian family and just learned of a gluten allergy :-/
We tried one but it didnt absorb the color like spaghetti does. Thanks for any tips!

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I have just followed the directions. Thanks for this post. It’s very helpful!

June 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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