Why You Need to Be Cooking Your Pasta in Red Wine

Updated: Nov. 03, 2022

Cooking your pasta in red wine sounds too good to be true, but it can and should be done!

pasta red wine glass bowtieShutterstock (2)

There’s a lot to love about pasta. But have you ever thought about cooking pasta with something other than plain old tap water? Maybe with something like red wine? Sounds too good to be true, but it actually makes for a delicious meal, according to Jim Mumford, a recipe writer. “Cooking pasta with red wine is a centuries-old tradition,” he says. “The wine imparts a subtle wine flavor, but the acid also helps cook the pasta, giving a more pleasant texture. ”

Firoz Thanawalla, chef and owner of Chef’s Satchel, offers this recipe for cooking pasta with red wine. “Cooking with wine helps release a lot of flavors from the different components added to the dish that fats are unable to,” Thanawalla says. “Boiling pasta in red wine not only helps infuse flavor, but also has an added bonus of reserving some of the red wine liquid towards making the sauce.” If you decide you prefer boiling your pasta in water, make sure you save the pasta water so you can do this later.

What you’ll need:

3 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
1 1/2 cups water
1 lb spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh parmesan
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked pepper to taste

What to do:

  1.  Combine red wine and water in a pot. Add salt and bring it to a boil.
  2.  Add the spaghetti and cook till just done. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta
  3. Heat oil and add the sliced garlic along with the chili flakes. Deglaze
    with the reserved liquid.
  4. Add the pasta and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  5.  Add freshly chopped parsley as well as the parmesan.
  6.  Serve hot!

Hopefully you’ve found a delicious new way to enjoy pasta! And if you accidentally spill your red wine, don’t worry—this guide on red wine stain removal will help if it leaves an unsightly stain.