Why You Need to Be Cooking Your Pasta in Red Wine

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

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There’s a lot to love about pasta. Whether you’re cooking it fresh or reheating leftovers using this trick so your noodles are just as a good as new, pasta is a filling and fulfilling meal. 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
    water.
  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! No matter how you prefer to cook your pasta, make sure you’re not making these 12 common pasta mistakes.

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Erin Kayata
Erin Kayata joined Reader’s Digest as an assistant staff writer in March 2019, coming from the Stamford Advocate where she covered education. Prior to this, she was part of a two-year Hearst fellowship program where she covered crime and education in suburban Connecticut. She graduated from Emerson College and spent part of her undergraduate career writing for the Boston Globe. When she’s not writing articles about useful facts and pop culture, you can find Erin enjoying the local theater scene and working toward her goal of reading 50 books a year.