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Drunken Spaghetti Red Wine Pasta




  • 1 bottle medium to full bodied red wine Merlot, Chianti, Valpolicella Ripasso, Sangiovese etc
  • 13 oz spaghetti I used spaghetti alla chitarra by Ligouri
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and halved
  • 1 handful fresh parsley washed and chopped
  • 1 fresh or dried pepperoncino (red chili pepper) cut into small pieces
  • Pecorino cheese or vegetarian cheese. for grating
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper. to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil




Preparation steps

  1. Pour the wine minus half a glass (2.5floz) into a saucepan, bring it to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to a boil again.
  2. Wash and chop a handful of parsley. Peel and halve 2 garlic cloves and cut the fresh or dried peperoncino into small pieces. Remove the seeds for less heat. Make sure you wash your hands after handling the chili.

Cook your drunken spaghetti

  1. Sauté the garlic, ½ the parsley and the peperoncino in a large deep frying pan or skillet in extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Cook the spaghetti for just over half the recommended cooking time. Save a little pasta cooking water, Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.
  3. Gradually add the wine to the spaghetti one ladle at a time, stirring continuously until the spaghetti is a deep red colour and al dente. If you run out of hot wine before the pasta is cooked, use the saved pasta cooking water. Remove from the heat and mix in the uncooked wine you set aside.
  4. Serve immediately with more chopped parsley and some grated Pecorino or vegetarian cheese. I used slivers of Pecorino.



Without cheese, this drunken spaghetti is vegan. I added slivers of pecorino cheese which isn’t vegetarian as it contains animal rennet. So, to make this recipe vegetarian use a vegetarian parmesan or hard cheese.

It’s best to use bronze drawn pasta. This has a rougher surface and is more absorbent than other pasta. It also releases more starch which is exactly what you need when cooking pasta like risotto.

All recipes for drunken spaghetti call for a medium to full bodied red wine.