This vegan Red Wine Pasta is perfect for wine lovers on a date night, and is ready start to finish in about 20 minutes.
Picture the following: You have a date, you’re supposed to cook, and you only have about 20 minutes to get the food ready. What do you do? Panic? (Yes, of course.) Call for a restaurant reservation? (Maybe.) However, there’s another option. Are you ready for this? You can make fancy pasta. That’s right– pasta that looks terribly impressive, but in reality only takes a few minutes longer to prepare than plain old spaghetti marinara. This Red Wine Pasta is vegan, flavorful, and incredibly quick to prepare.
Making Red Wine Pasta
Red Wine Pasta is incredibly simple to make. You need spaghetti, a bottle of dry red wine,* some diced tomatoes, and a few capers. To start, first, get a big pot of salted water ready. Next, start prepping the sauce of tomatoes and… ahem.. wine, and let the wine simmer for a few minutes. Toss your dried pasta into the salted water, cook it for just a few minutes, and then transfer it to the wine sauce and let it finish cooking there. Toss it all together, and ‘ta da!’– you’ve got a fancy-schmancy pasta dinner.
If you’re reading this and wondering if you could make this pasta even easier by turning it into a ‘one pot dinner’– stop! DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, attempt to cook the pasta all the way through in the red wine sauce. I’ve tried, and all that happened is that I ruined a whole bunch of pasta AND wasted a bottle of wine. There’s not enough room in the pan for the pasta to cook through correctly, and you’ll just end up with clumps of goopy, overly starchy pasta. And no one wants that (especially not on date night!).
Personally, I love pairing this with seafood. (I realize, of course, that once I’ve added seafood, it’s no longer vegan.) It’s delicious with my friend Mr. Octopus, or scallops, or even some shiny red lobster tails! Pair your dinner with a cocktail, some chocolate truffles, and the rest of your date is up to you!
Note: This pasta… tastes like wine. Shocking, I know. Fair warning- If you don’t care for wine, you probably won’t like the pasta!
*Also Note: Choose a wine that you like, since you’ll definitely taste the flavor, but it doesn’t have to be pricey. I usually grab a Winking Owl wine from Aldi for this meal, and save my favorite wine to pour in a glass along with dinner.
Looking for more date night ideas? Check out these 22 Date Night Recipes:
Red Wine Pasta
- 1 lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced (or sub 1 diced yellow onion)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 TB minced garlic
- 1 can diced tomatoes (28oz)
- 1 750 ml bottle dry red wine
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ~ 1/4 cup capers
- Optional Toppings: sliced kalamata olives, freshly grated Parmesan, goat cheese crumbles, vegan Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large deep-sided pan or wok, sauté leeks and salt until softened on medium heat. Add garlic and stir (about 1 min).
Add tomatoes, and allow to simmer 2-3 minutes. Add the entire bottle of wine. Bring mixture a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and stir constantly.
Add pasta to salted water, and cook for about 4 minutes, until pasta is al dente. DO NOT DRAIN PASTA. Instead, use a pasta ladle to take pasta out of water, shaking lightly to get rid of excess water, and set pasta into wine (being careful not to splash). Do not drain pasta water.
Toss pasta into sauce, mixing until pasta has finished cooking and sauce is thoroughly incorporated.* (See Recipe Notes)
If your pasta seems too dry, ladle over some of the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until it looks creamy.
Add crushed red pepper, cayenne, capers and optional toppings.
*Depending on the type of wine used, you may find that your pasta isn't as dark red as you would like. If this happens, add a little tomato sauce to make it redder.
Recipe adapted from: Food.com