Deliciously Rich Red Wine Pasta Sauce Recipe

Are you tired of using the same old tomato sauce for your pasta dishes? If so, you’re in luck! I have an incredible recipe that will revamp your taste buds and make your pasta dish something very special. I present to you, the red wine pasta sauce recipe.

When it comes to making a standout pasta dish, the sauce is the star of the show. That’s where this recipe comes into play. By infusing a dry red wine into a tomato-based sauce, we’re able to create an incredibly rich and savory flavor profile that will elevate any pasta dish.

This recipe isn’t just delicious though. It’s also incredibly easy to make. With only a few simple ingredients, you’ll be able to whip up this tangy and flavorful sauce in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a bottle of dry red wine and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Red Wine Pasta Sauce
Red Wine Pasta Sauce

Are you tired of the same old bland pasta sauce? Look no further than this red wine pasta sauce recipe. With the addition of a flavorful dry red wine, this sauce elevates any pasta dish to a level of sophistication.

Not only does the dry red wine add a pop of flavor to the sauce, but it also imparts a rich burgundy color that is visually stunning. Plus, the combination of garlic, onion, and roma tomatoes creates a robust base that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. Want to add some heat? Simply sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes. Prefer a sweeter sauce? Add a dash of sugar to balance out the acidity from the tomatoes and wine. There are endless substitutions and variations you can make to customize this sauce to your liking.

But perhaps the most compelling reason why you’ll love this recipe is its ability to pair with a wide variety of dishes. From chicken pasta to rigatoni to bacon and mushroom sauce, adding this red wine tomato sauce will create an entirely new dimension of flavor in your favorite pasta dishes. Not to mention, it also pairs beautifully with creamy or tomato cream sauces.

In short, if you’re looking for a flavorful and versatile pasta sauce that will take your dishes from ordinary to extraordinary, look no further than this red wine pasta sauce recipe.

Ingredient List

 A savory red wine pasta sauce that will make your taste buds dance
A savory red wine pasta sauce that will make your taste buds dance

Let’s look at the ingredients you will need for this delicious and flavorful red wine tomato sauce recipe.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (28 ounces) roma tomatoes, with juice, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Optional Ingredients to Enhance Flavor:

  • Bacon, diced and cooked crispy
  • Ground beef or chicken for a meat sauce
  • Fresh mushrooms or mushroom sauce
  • Cream, half-and-half or heavy cream for a tomato cream sauce

Gather all these ingredients and start cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 Wine not add a little extra something to your pasta sauce?
Wine not add a little extra something to your pasta sauce?

Let me start by saying that this red wine pasta sauce recipe is easy and fuss-free! You can make a sauce that captures the flavors of wine easily using the following ingredients:

Ingredients list:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cans (28 ounce) roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste

With these simple but flavorful ingredients, you can create a crowd-favorite sauce that tastes like it has been simmering for hours!

Step-by-step recipe:

  1. Begin by heating 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and diced onion to the pot and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is tender and slightly caramelized.
  3. Pour 1 cup of dry red wine into the pot and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, or until the alcohol smell fades away.
  4. Now, add in the canned roma tomatoes along with their juices, followed by 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and also 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
  5. Give everything in the pot a good stir before reducing the heat to low and covering with a lid.
  6. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, letting all of those flavors mingle together.
  7. Lastly, add salt to taste.

That’s it! Your red wine pasta sauce is ready to be served over your favorite pasta dish.

Secret ingredient tip:

For those who want to have more depth in their sauce, try adding some chopped bacon while sautéing, or use Burgundy wine instead of a regular dry red, this results in a flavorful red wine tomato sauce that pairs well with almost any pasta dish you can think of!

White wine alternative:

If you prefer a little fruitier and lighter sauce, you can swap out the 1 cup of dry red wine with dry white wine instead. This works very well when paired with chicken pasta or mushroom sauce.

I hope you find this recipe easy and enjoyable to make. Get creative and experiment with different variations to make this recipe your own!

Substitutions and Variations

 A hearty pasta sauce infused with the robust flavors of red wine
A hearty pasta sauce infused with the robust flavors of red wine

There are plenty of opportunities to experiment with this red wine pasta sauce recipe. Whether you’re trying to accommodate dietary concerns or simply looking to add some variety, there are several ways to modify this sauce recipe. Below are some substitutions and variations you might want to consider:

– Wine: If you don’t have red wine on hand, or would like a milder flavor, you can use white wine instead. Choose a dry white wine that has light and crisp notes such as pinot grigio.

– Bacon or Chicken Pasta: For a protein-packed version of this dish, add crispy bacon or cooked chicken to the sauce.

– Mushroom Sauce: If you’re a mushroom lover, add them to the sauce for extra earthy flavor.

– Cream Sauce: You can turn this into a decadent cream sauce by adding heavy cream when you add the tomatoes.

– Rigatoni: Instead of spaghetti, try using rigatoni pasta for a change in texture.

– Meat Sauce: You can also transform this recipe into classic meat sauce by browning ground beef before adding the onion and garlic.

– Tomato Cream: If you love tomato cream sauces, simply add some heavy cream or half and half at the end of cooking to create a tomato cream sauce.

Experimenting with these substitutions and variations allows for creativity in the kitchen and provides an opportunity for an updated red wine pasta sauce that satisfies your palate.

Serving and Pairing

 Simply pour a glass of red for yourself and one for the pasta sauce
Simply pour a glass of red for yourself and one for the pasta sauce

This red wine pasta sauce is a versatile topping that can go with almost any pasta dish you like. I recommend using it with rigatoni, spaghetti or even with creamy fettuccine Alfredo. The rich flavor of the sauce works beautifully with any meat or vegetable pasta you serve it with.

To make your pasta dish more interesting, try pairing the tomato-based sauce with a bold and flavorful red wine such as Burgundy, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Chianti. A dry red wine pairs perfectly with the tart tomato and garlic in the sauce as well.

If you want to steer away from wines, a glass of cold beer can also complement the sauce’s acidity and sharp flavor.

For those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage option, sparkling water or lemonade are a great match for the spices in the sauce.

Pairing wise, I recommend garnishing your dish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese to enhance the richness of the sauce’s flavor. If cheese is not your thing, chopped fresh Italian parsley can also bring out the freshness of the tomatoes and garlic.

To finish off the perfect meal, complement your pasta dish with a side salad made of arugula or spinach dressed in balsamic vinaigrette.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Take your spaghetti game up a notch with this red wine pasta sauce recipe
Take your spaghetti game up a notch with this red wine pasta sauce recipe

One of the best things about this red wine pasta sauce recipe is how easy it is to make ahead of time. You can prep and simmer the sauce on a Sunday afternoon, freeze it in several mason jars, and then thaw them in time for a mid-week dinner. The flavors will only get better with time as the dry red wine, diced tomatoes and minced garlic infuse one another.

Storing this pasta sauce is also extremely convenient. Cooked and cooled sauce may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or safely frozen for up to 3 months ahead. When reheating the sauce, you can either zap it in the microwave or stir together over medium heat in a large stock pot with a splash of olive oil and water until fully defrosted.

This red wine tomato sauce can be so versatile that you can use it as spaghetti sauce or even bake it into a meat sauce with either ground beef or bacon bits. Another creative idea is using this creamy red wine tomato sauce to smother baked chicken breast, sautéed mushrooms or rigatoni which makes for a craveworthy cream sauce pasta dish. No matter how you choose to serve this recipe, know that it’s been tested again and again to ensure that it will come out perfectly every single time you need something comforting and delicious.

Tips for Perfect Results

 In this recipe, the pasta swims in a pool of delectable red wine sauce
In this recipe, the pasta swims in a pool of delectable red wine sauce

To achieve the perfect red wine pasta sauce, there are several tips you can follow. Here are some tips for ensuring that your sauce is flavorful and delicious every time:

1. Use a dry red wine

When making a red wine pasta sauce, it’s important to use a dry red wine. The sweetness of the tomato sauce will balance out the tannins in the wine, making for a smooth and rich flavor in the resulting dish.

2. Add the wine only after sautéing the onion and garlic

The wine should only be added to the pan after sautéing the onion and garlic. This allows the flavors of the onion and garlic to develop fully before being mixed with the wine.

3. Experiment with different types of red wines

Although it’s important to use a dry red wine, there is still room for experimentation with different types of red wines. Burgundy wine is often used in pasta sauces, but you can try using a Pinot Noir or Chianti instead.

4. Simmer for at least an hour

Allow your sauce to simmer for at least an hour to allow all of the flavors to develop. This will make sure that your sauce has a rich, deep flavor.

5. Don’t underestimate the importance of seasoning

Seasoning is key when making any pasta sauce, so don’t be afraid to add salt, sugar or crushed red pepper flakes according to your preference.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to create a delicious and satisfying red wine pasta sauce that will impress even the most discerning of palates.


Now that you have mastered making this delicious red wine pasta sauce recipe, you might have some questions in mind. In this FAQ section, I will answer anything from ingredient substitutions to tips for tweaking the recipe to suit your taste buds. Keep scrolling down to find out more!

What does red wine do to pasta sauce?

As a sommelier, I’ve noticed that the inclusion of wine in certain sauces can enhance their flavors remarkably. It’s interesting to note that the alcohol content in the wine is what prompts the release of the savory molecules in the sauce, turning it into a culinary delight. Moreover, the addition of red wine can dissolve the fats present in the sauce, creating a layer of complex flavors.

What is the best red wine to cook pasta sauce?

When it comes to pairing wine with spaghetti sauce, it’s important to find a red wine that isn’t too heavy or too acidic. Chianti, a dry red wine, strikes a perfect balance as it can range from medium to full-bodied, making it versatile for cooking. What really sets Chianti apart is its uniquely delightful flavor that makes it a popular choice for this purpose.

Can I use red wine instead of white wine in pasta sauce?

If you’re thinking of using red wine instead of white wine, keep in mind that it may change the color of the dish. While using red wine in tomato-based sauces is a great idea, opting for lighter-colored alcohol like vermouth is best for white or buttery sauces. This way, you can ensure that the final color of the dish looks appetizing.

Do Italians put red wine in tomato sauce?

When it comes to pairing wine with food, it’s important to consider the acidity of both the wine and the dish. If you want to add a tangy, sharp taste to your food, then selecting a wine with high acidity is a good choice. However, it’s not recommended to use wine in tomato-based sauces in Italian cuisine as the tomatoes are already acidic enough on their own.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, making red wine pasta sauce at home is a great way to elevate any pasta dish. With simple ingredients like garlic, onion, tomatoes, and red wine you can create a rich and flavorful sauce that will impress your family or guests. This recipe is very versatile and can be modified to your liking by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes, sugar, or olive oil.

So why not give it a try? You’ll love the aroma of the simmering sauce that will fill your kitchen with warmth and joy. And once you taste the exquisite flavor of this wine tomato sauce, you’ll never want to go back to bland and boring spaghetti sauce again. Moreover, with so many variations like the meat sauce, creamy red wine sauce, and tomato cream sauce, you’ll have plenty of options to explore.

Serve this delicious red wine pasta sauce with your favorite type of pasta and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an unforgettable dining experience. Additionally, pair it with a glass of Burgundy or any other dry red wine for an ultimate culinary delight.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some wine and head into the kitchen to make this irresistible red wine pasta sauce right now!

Red Wine Pasta Sauce

Red Wine Pasta Sauce Recipe

This is a sweet-tasting sauce with more than a hint of burgundy. I made a batch of it in September 2007, having no clue what I'd put into it. I set out to reproduce it in October when more tomatoes came in, this time writing down the ingredients. Happy to say that I succeeded on the first try, as I didn't have to add ANYTHING once the cooking got underway. This sauce is absolutely wonderful over manicotti. It makes approximately 3 quarts, the remainder of which I freeze in wide-mouth canning jars. As far as special ingredients, I recommend using Inglenook California Classic Burgundy and Contadina tomato paste. If you have a KitchenAid mixer with the slicer/shredder attachment, running the tomatoes, onions and red pepper through the large shredder produces a wonderful consistency.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 c
Calories 49 kcal


  • 4 lbs fresh roma tomatoes
  • 24 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Burgundy wine
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Without removing seeds, crush tomatoes thoroughly to desired consistency.
  • Finely chop the onion and pepper.
  • Crush the garlic using a garlic press.
  • Add all ingredients to stock pot, stirring well.
  • Set stove to low heat, cover pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 99gCalories: 49kcalCarbohydrates: 10.9gProtein: 1.6gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 648.9mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, European, For Large Groups, Mixer, Onions, Peppers, Sauces, Small Appliance, Vegetable
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