Red, red wine.
Traditional spaghetti carbonara is good. This carbonara-inspired red wine spaghetti recipe is great. Have your wine pairing and eat it, too, with this special — and very easy — pasta dinner.
Traditional Carbonara, meet Spaghetti all’Ubriaco (Drunken Spaghetti)
I have always been intrigued by Italian “drunken spaghetti,” an easy red wine pasta dish made by cooking spaghetti in a seasoned red wine sauce. The rich color of the spaghetti and flavor of the wine, combined with pancetta and a few other ingredients into a sauce, seemed hard to resist.
And of course, spaghetti carbonara is one of life’s perfect pasta dishes: a silky — when done right — and salty bowl of al dente pasta tossed in an eggy, cheesy, bacon-y sauce.
So why not combine the two? Drunken spaghetti, or spaghetti all’ubriaco, often incorporates pancetta. This recipe just takes things one step further, combining red with pasta with carbonara sauce into an amazing new red wine pasta recipe for dinner.
Making Carbonara With No Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are a common issue when making a carbonara. This occurs when the eggs overcook in the last step of the dish, when the pasta comes together with the sauce.
But this method troubleshoots this carbonara issue. Transferring the pancetta-tossed spaghetti to a separate bowl filled with the egg and cheese virtually guarantees that the sauce will stay silky smooth, while the eggs still cook in the residual heat of the egg and cheese.*
What are the best red wine pairings for this red wine pasta recipe?
Spaghetti carbonara lends itself to a number of excellent wine pairings. You will want a little acid to cut the salty richness of the sauce.
I suggest keeping your wine pairing in the Italian family, since this is an Italian dish. For this carbonara-inspired red wine pasta recipe, choose a red wine that you would drink as well, and never, ever use “cooking wine.” The fun part of this recipe (other than all of it) is that there will be just enough red wine leftover to pour two glasses of wine.
I like to cook and pair this red wine pasta carbonara with:
- Chianti Classico
- If you want something not-Italian, pinot noir makes an excellent choice
How to Reheat Pasta Carbonara
Pasta carbonara can be reheated. Carefully. A carbonara is a temperamental sauce held together by a few eggs. Eggs can overcook very, very easily. So it is essential to control the reheating process and raise the egg temperature very slowly.
- DO NOT use a microwave to reheat spaghetti carbonara
- DO NOT put the leftover carbonara directly into a hot pan
- DO use a double boiler method, or bain marie
To reheat pasta carbonara over a double boiler:
- Heat a pot filled with an inch or two of water until simmering. Do not let the water boil; just simmer.
- Put the leftover pasta, along with a tablespoon of water, in a heat-safe bowl, and nestle the bowl atop the pot. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. The steam heats the bowl, not the water.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until warmed through. Add water bit by bit as necessary to keep the sauce creamy.
How to Make This Carbonara Red Wine Pasta Recipe: Steps
This red wine pasta carbonara recipe is very straightforward. Because a carbonara sauce cannot cook in a pan without scrambling the egg, the red wine is incorporated exclusively into the pasta water. (The alcohol boils off during cooking, don’t worry.)
To make this drunken spaghetti recipe:
- Bring a pot of salted water and wine to a boil. Drop the spaghetti and cook until a couple minutes shy of al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, heat the pancetta and onion over medium-low in a skillet until the fat renders and the onion turns translucent, about 5 or 6 minutes. During this time, you will also whisk the eggs and cheese into a large mixing bowl.
- Use a pair of tongs to drag the spaghetti into the pancetta skillet, along with a little pasta water. Toss to coat.
- Transfer the bacon-tossed pasta into the mixing bowl and toss and stir, maybe with a little pasta water, until the spaghetti is coated in a silky sauce.
And don’t forget to serve the rest of the wine along with the pasta! This traditional pasta carbonara, combined with the special addition of red wine, makes a fabulous pasta dinner worth toasting.
*Consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. This recipe makes no temperature guarantee.
Love a creamy pasta dinner? You will also love:
Red Wine Pasta Carbonara
- 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini
- 2 1/2 cups red wine, such as Chianti or Montepulciano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) diced pancetta (bacon works, too)
- 1/2 cup aged, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino-Romano
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- Salt and fresh-cracked black pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water and red wine to a boil. Drop the spaghetti and cook until slightly underdone, a couple minutes shy of al dente.
- While the pasta water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil, diced onion, and pancetta in a large, wide-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat until the fat renders, about 5 or 6 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure that the onions and pancetta cook without coloring. The onions should become translucent.
- While the water's boiling and the the pancetta and onion cook in the skillet, separately whisk the egg yolks, egg, and grated cheeses into a large mixing bowl. Add a few twists of black pepper if you like. Set aside.
- Use a pair of tongs to drag the slightly undercooked spaghetti into the pancetta and onion skillet, taking a little pasta water along with it. Toss to coat and cook with just enough pasta water to finish the pasta.TIP: If you don't want to work with tongs, you can also dip a mug into the pasta water to reserve, then strain the spaghetti in a colander before adding it to the skillet.
- Transfer the glossy, bacon-tossed pasta into the mixing bowl with the egg and cheese. Toss and stir, maybe with a little pasta water, until the spaghetti is coated in a silky sauce. Divide into pasta bowls and serve with a little extra grated cheese. And don't forget to drink the rest of the wine!