Drunken Spaghetti

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Spaghetti Ubriachi, or Drunken Spaghetti, is a typical Tuscan dish that we also make here in Umbria. It is a very appealing dish to prepare, as the pasta cooked in the red wine takes on a gorgeous ruby red color.

Do not worry about getting tipsy while eating this pasta as the alcohol burns off with the heat leaving just a lovely hint of sweetness to the pasta. Here in Umbria our wine of choice would be a Rosso di Montefalco, or a Sagrantino di Montefalco, but feel free to use your favorite full bodied dry red wine for this dish.

I have seen a myriad of variations of this recipe over the years but this is our basic recipe that uses local red wine. You can also substitute anchovies for the pancetta in my version if you prefer (if you like anchovies ~ I don’t!) but the saltiness of the pancetta pairs well with the sweetness of the wine. Traditionally this pasta dish is not usually topped with cheese, but we often top our pasta with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese.




Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Drunken Spaghetti

Drunken Spaghetti

Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 Pound Spaghetti
  • 4 to 5 cups Red Wine
  • 6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Pancetta
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  • 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley (Optional)
  • Grated Pecorino Cheese (Optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. While pasta is cooking, add the wine to a second large pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Drain the pasta well and add it to the pot with red wine and continue to cook an additional 6 to 7 minutes or just until the pasta is "al dente".
  4. While the pasta is cooking in the wine, in a frying pan, heat the oil and cook the pancetta until light brown and just beginning to crisp,
  5. Add the garlic, stir well and remove from the heat.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  7. Drain the pasta once more of whatever wine is left (most will have been absorbed by the pasta) and add the drained pasta to the pancetta and oil mixture.
  8. Toss well and cook over the heat for a minute or so until it is well blended and piping hot.
  9. Add the parsley if using, toss and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

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