Red Wine Pasta with Pancetta - Wine Dine With Jeff


  • 1 750 ML Bottle of Red wine I used a Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5 Oz of cubed pancetta
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of garlic sliced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 Teaspoon of red pepper flakes depending on your heat level
  • 1 Cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 Pound of spaghetti pasta
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 Tablespoon of butter or my favorite way is drizzle with extra virgin olive oil about 3 Tablespoons
  • Salt to taste


  • 1. This is my new favorite way to cook pasta, full of flavor with only a few ingredients. Its a show stopper staining the spaghetti this beautiful burgundy color and adding amazing flavors to the pasta. This dish—which in Italy is known as spaghetti all'ubriaco or “drunken” pasta, combines thin strands of spaghetti with a reduced red wine sauce. Studded with bits of salty pancetta and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, it's a thirty-minute meal. It is important to use a dry red wine that you enjoy drinking such as a Cabernet, Sangiovese or Merlot. Start with a cold sauté pan that will hold the 1 pound of cooked pasta. Add the cubed pancetta and turn the burner onto a medium heat. We are starting with a cold pan because we want to render out the fat from the pancetta. You will cook the pancetta for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 2. When the pancetta has caramelized like bacon with a slotted spoon remove the pancetta and transfer it to a paper towel lined dish to soak up all the extra oil. You want to keep all the oil left in the bottom of the pan with all the pancetta browned bits. The difference between pancetta and bacon is American bacon is smoked and is raw, pancetta is salt cured and is not smoked you get a more true pork taste.
  • 3. While the pancetta is still cooking you want to open your dry red wine. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dry red wine and set aside for the sauce. Pour the rest of the bottle of wine that will be 3 cups into a large pot to boil the pasta, add 5 cups of water to the bottle of red wine and turn the burner onto high. Add a small palm full of salt to the red wine pasta water, when the water comes to a boil add the spaghetti noodles and cook them to the package directions. It is important to cook the pasta al dente to have a slight chew because you will be cooking the pasta in the sauté pan for a few minutes.
  • 4. When the spaghetti is 1 minute from finishing cooking, add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes to the same sauté pan that the pancetta was cooked in. That pan should be on a medium heat and the rendered fat should be in the bottom of the pan, no need to add extra oil. Cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • 5. When the pasta is finished cooking reserve 1/4 cup of the red wine pasta water and set aside with the other 1/4 cup of red wine you saved from the bottle. Drain the pasta. No need for extra salt in the pasta because the pancetta and the parmesan cheese has plenty of salt in them.
  • 6. Add the reserved red wine totaling a 1/2 cup directly to the cooked garlic and scrape the brown bits off the bottom the pan. The brown bits adds flavor to the pasta. Add the pasta to the pan and toss in the sauce cook for 2 minutes until all the sauce has evaporated then add the parmesan cheese and melt into the pasta. Turn off the burner and add the fresh basil with the cooked pancetta. At this time it is your choice to melt butter into the pasta sauce or drizzle the pasta with extra virgin olive oil. This easy 30 minute red wine pasta is a show stopper, I hope it becomes your new favorite pasta recipe.

Recipe Video:

Red Wine Pasta with Pancetta

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