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Quick Red Wine Pasta Sauce

4.81 from 46 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 7 cups (enough for 2 pounds pasta)
Category Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Author Lauren


Bold in flavor, savory and slightly tangy, this homemade red wine sauce makes an easy elegant dinner!


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup grated onion*
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine, such as cotes du rhone, cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus more to taste
  • 1 –2 pounds whole-wheat pasta, such as spaghetti or penne


  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and lightly browned, 5–7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until lightly golden brown, 1–2 minutes. 
  • Stir in ½ cup red wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add remaining ½ cup and cook until reduce by at least half and a trail is left when a spatula is pulled through it, about 6 minutes. 
  • Stir in tomatoes and honey, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil and basil; season with additional basil, salt and pepper to taste.



  • * Use a large-hole box grater.
  • Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Store in resealable zipper-lock bags in the freezer for up to 4 months. 
  • Serving 4 people: cook 1 pound pasta and refrigerate or freeze any leftover sauce.
  • Serving 6–8: cook 1½ to 2 pounds pasta.


Serving: 1/2 cup sauceCalories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSodium: 371mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5g
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