Red wine pasta sauce is full of robust flavors, making this sauce a meal in itself! This simple ingredient sauce will have you swearing off the canned stuff for good! Crushed tomatoes, Italian herbs, and a splash of red wine make this sauce an absolute hit!
What’s your favorite Sunday gravy? I like to switch it up, but I find myself making this red wine pasta sauce often. It’s like that old hoodie that is guaranteed to make you feel cozy and warm. The flavor of this sauce is bold, tangy, and so comforting!
This pasta sauce is super easy to make and is the perfect sauce for your Sunday pasta. It’s made with super simple ingredients, comes together in 30 minutes, and is packed with flavor.
Sauce is a personal thing. Every Nona makes it differently, but they will all tell you the same thing- the quality of the ingredients impacts the flavor- big time! No worries, I have all the tips and tricks for you to make this sauce perfecto!
Red wine sauce ingredients
- Olive oil– Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil, like California Olive Ranch.
- Dry red wine– Use your favorite dry red wine for this recipe. You don’t need to buy a $40 dollar bottle of wine to make this sauce, I’ve used some less expensive wines that are rich and bold in flavor that are perfect!
- Onion and garlic– Chop the onion and garlic finely. Pro tip: use a food processor to chop the mixture, it’ll save you time, energy, and tears!
- Crushed tomatoes– Cento crushed tomatoes is my all time favorite brand to use for all my sauce recipes. It is a great quality brand and has a phenomenal texture and flavor.
- Fresh herbs– Oregano and basil are common herbs to use in Italian cooking. These herbs accent the tomato flavor well!
- Pasta– Use your favorite pasta shape for this recipe!
What kind of red wine is best for Red Wine Pasta Sauce?
Any dry red wine boasts bold flavors and peppery undertones. Here are some well loved cooking wines that pair well with tomatoes:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
Cut the acidity
Use 1 teaspoon of sugar, honey, or baking soda to cut the acidity in this pasta sauce. You won’t be able to taste these ingredients, but it will make this sauce a little kinder on sensitive bellies.
Save the pasta water
Here is my all time favorite tip- add pasta water to your sauce! The carby water adds a layer of flavor that is indescribably delicious! Add 1/2 – 1 cup of salted pasta water to your sauce before serving. Trust me, add the pasta water!
Make it your own
This sauce is super delicious, but you know I love giving you ideas to kick these recipes up a notch and tailor it to your taste. Here are my tried and true additions that really make this sauce extra special.
- Hot Italian sausage– If you’d like to use Italian sausage, cook it in the same pot you are going to cook your sauce in. Once the sausage is cooked, remove the sausage from the pan, then sautè the onion, garlic, and fresh herbs in the grease. Once you add the wine and crushed tomatoes, add the sausage back to the pot to simmer. So delish!
- Chicken bouillon– Add just 1-2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon to give your sauce an extra rich and delicious flavor. This is my favorite trick to bring all the savory flavors of the sauce together.
- Roasted garlic– You can use roasted garlic instead of raw garlic for a more bold, rich flavor.
- Pasta water– Always add pasta water to your sauce. Always. Thank me later!
How to make red wine pasta sauce
- Saute the onion, garlic, and herbs. Place a medium sized pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic, onion, whole basil leaves, and oregano. Sautè the mixture for 2 minutes.
- Add and reduce the wine. Pour the red wine into the pot and allow it to simmer and reduce by half for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes. Pour the crushed tomatoes into the pot, then reduce the sauce to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes or more.
- Finish it off with pasta water. Add 1/2-1 cup of salted pasta water to the sauce, stir, then serve over your favorite pasta. Mangia!
How to make a large batch of red wine pasta sauce
If you like to make large batches of sauce so you can freeze it, I’ve got you covered!
What you need:
- All the listed ingredients
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (not pasta sauce)
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
Follow the instructions the same way. When you add the crushed tomatoes to the pot, add the tomato sauce and paste. Simmer the sauce, add the pasta water, then serve or allow it to cool to freeze for later!
How to store and reheat red wine pasta sauce
In the fridge
Place the pasta sauce in an airtight container in the fridge and store it for up to 5 days. Since this is a red sauce, it can easily stain plastic storage, so I recommend storing it in a glass container.
In the freezer
Place the sauce in the fridge until it is cool. Once the pasta sauce is cold, pour the sauce into individual airtight containers and place it in the freezer. Allowing the sauce to cool before placing it in the fridge ensures you will not have any exploding glass bottles in your freezer.
You can reheat this sauce in the microwave or on the stove top. Place the sauce in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until it is heated through. To reheat the sauce on the stove top, place it in a pot over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until hot.
What to serve with red wine pasta sauce
- Italian vegetables are coated in a delicious gravy and comes together in just a few minutes for an easy and fast side dish.
- Prosciutto wrapped green bean bundles are rolled with fresh rosemary and grated parmesan cheese for an extra delicious crowd pleasing side dish!
- Oven roasted asparagus is such an easy side dish that is healthy, delicious, and fast cooking.
- These white wine and lemon roasted artichoke halves are packed with flavor and nutrition. With complimenting hints of white wine and lemon, with lemon zest, the artichokes are juicy and delicious!
- Crispy oven baked eggplant cutlets are the perfect Italian side dish. Sliced eggplant is coated in a breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture and crisped to perfection.
More Sea Salt Savorings Italian classics
- Sheet Pan Gnocchi Caprese with Asiago Spinach Sausage
- Easy Pomodoro Sauce
- Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
- Crab Stuffed Manicotti with Alfredo Sauce
- Italian Stuffed Whole Pompano
Red Wine Pasta Sauce
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh basil whole leaves left on stem, or 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 1 lb pasta
- Sautè the onion, garlic, and herbs. Place a medium sized pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, basil leaves (leave them whole), and oregano. Sautè the mixture for 1-2 minutes.
- Add and reduce the wine. Pour the red wine into the pot and allow it to reduce by half, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer. Pour the crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes into the pot. Stir the mixture and reduce it to a simmer. Add the sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of generously salted (about 1 tbsp of salt) water to a roaring boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Save 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta water. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce. Add up to 1 cup, until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve. Toss the pasta in the red wine sauce, then serve with your favorite toppings like parmesan cheese or more fresh basil. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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