Red Wine Pasta

red wine pasta on plate
Photo: Bryan Gardner
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 to 6 Serves

Whether you're cooking for date night or game night, a recipe that is easy to prepare but leaves an impression is the way to go. This dish—which in Italy is known as spaghetti all'ubriaco or “drunken” pasta, combines thin strands of spaghetti with a reduced red wine-shallot sauce. Studded with bits of salty pancetta and sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese, it's a thirty-minute meal that is perfect for serving alongside slices of good crusty bread and a green salad.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Beaujolais

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • ¼ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Add shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes to pan; season with salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully add red wine; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add pasta to pot with red wine; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is bright red and al dente and most of wine has been absorbed, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in cheese and pancetta. Stir in pasta water as needed to loosen sauce. Serve with more cheese, parsley, and red pepper flakes.

Cook's Notes

Choose a red wine that is medium-to-full-bodied and plays on the sweeter side, such as Beaujolais or Chianti.

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