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Vegetarian Red Wine Penne Pasta

At a Glance


2 People



Prep Time:

10 min

Cooking Time:

35 min

Whether you’re planning an all-important date night, or simply looking for a midweek meal bursting with flavour, our red wine penne pasta recipe delivers. Serve with sourdough garlic bread and grated cheese for an authentic restaurant feel.

Impress your date (and yourself when you tuck into the leftovers) with our easy-to-make red wine penne pasta. Who says simplicity can’t be sumptuous?

What you'll need:

  • 12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 1x 75cl bottle red wine 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. penne / or any pasta
  • Finely grated Parmesan, or vegetarian hard cheese (for serving)



  1. In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and oil over a medium heat. Add black pepper and 1.5 tbsp of butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned – this should take about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the wine, increase heat to medium-high and bring your red wine pasta sauce to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds (around 20–25 minutes). Then, season with salt, cover and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente – about 3 minutes shy of the recommended cooking time.
  4. Drain the pasta and add it to your red wine sauce, along with the remaining 6.5 tbsp of butter. Set your pot over a medium heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook the red wine pasta dish, tossing often, until the pasta is well coated, and the sauce has thickened (about 3 minutes). Taste and season with more salt or pepper if needed. 
  5. Divide pasta among bowls, drizzle with oil and top with a generous serving of Parmesan before serving.

Tips & Tweaks

You don’t have to use penne pasta. If you’re more of fusilli, tagliatelle, or even macaroni (yep!) person, simply substitute the penne for the pasta of your choosing. Note: pasta cooking times may vary, so be sure to double check!

Food Fact

Recipes with red wine are thought to have aphrodisiac properties, but it depends on the wine you choose. Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Barbera, and Nebbiolo are each brimming with antioxidants, and the musky scent sets a romantic tone, perfect for date night.


Pick up everything you need for a hearty red wine penne pasta at your local SPAR For more date night inspiration, sign up to our E-newsletter and receive regular foodie updates, the latest SPAR recipes and information about our upcoming deals and competitions.