Instead Of Sauce, Try Using Red Wine For Your Next Pasta Night

When most people think of pasta sauce, the smooth finish of a tomato or marinara sauce may come to mind. But pasta sauce also expands to other delectable varieties. For example, pasta lovers might enjoy funghi e piselli, which is comprised of mushrooms, garlic, and peas, per Uno Casa, or amatriciana sauce, which requires guanciale and San Marzano tomatoes, via Webstaurant Store.

To that, many types of sauces also utilize the essence of red or white wine, and we're not just talking about the perfect wine pairings at restaurants. We're talking about incorporating wine into the actual sauce. This is actually very commonplace among sauces, such as using white wine in amatriciana sauce or red wine in a French bordelaise sauce (the latter provided by Cuisine d'Aubery). And if you're wondering why wine belongs in pasta sauce to begin with, it's because it aids in the enhancement of the sauce's flavor molecules as well as breaking down fat, as mentioned by Giolitti.

But what about axing the "sauce" part and just using red wine in pasta? In other words, using red wine as the sauce (per La Cucina Italiana) without leaning on any tomatoes. Is this just another peculiar idea, or is Bon Appétit on to something here with their red wine spaghetti?

Known as drunken spaghetti

Bon Appétit calls this red wine spaghetti. Saveur labels it as spaghetti all'ubriaco. And La Cucina Italiana offers a different variation called agnolotti al vino. In any case, all three have one thing in common: red wine as the sauce component — although it's certainly enhanced with a few additional ingredients. The former source incorporates garlic, olive oil, butter, and red pepper flakes, while Saveur ditches the butter and utilizes everything else, as well as parsley, oregano, and a beef bouillon cube.

In a nutshell, these ingredients are basically cooked together, along with lots of red wine. The goal is to reduce the wine over the course of 20 to 25 minutes, which is then mixed with pasta via Bon Appétit. But how does it taste? Well, Serious Eats implies that you can definitely taste the wine, which yields flavors that are so good that you'll probably eat the whole thing before transferring it to a plate. Aesthetics-wise, the dish is also known for its deep purple colors — a far cry from the bright red sauce that many people are used to.

In terms of what kind of red wine to use, the latter source suggests the cheap stuff (although it should taste good). La Cucina Italiana, on the other hand, has two in mind: Barbera and Dolcetto since they're both robust.

So next time you're craving a new pasta dish, give this one a try for a "drunken" twist on pasta sauce.