Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce

The wine adds an extra depth of flavor and a complexity to this sensational red wine basil pasta sauce!!

Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce Closeup Top

Am I the only one who is undoubtedly nostalgic for the days when you could make a last minute run to Blockbuster? Remember how you could grab a dozen random movies for a basically spur of the moment movie binge? Don’t get me wrong, I have a Netflix subscription and in fact am as addicted to “on demand” as the worst of them. But sometimes on a random Tuesday, I want to have a Sex And The City throwback marathon, and since it’s not on Netflix Instant then I’m totally SOL.

Who am I kidding? Of course I have Every Single Episode of Sex And The City on DVD. Don’t you?

What does this have to do with Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce? Absolutely nothing. I’m not even going to try to come up with some logical link between the two, because there isn’t one.

Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce Overhead

But I am going to apologize for not posting this superb pasta sauce several weeks ago when I first made it. On the whole, it was cruel keeping you from making my new favorite pasta sauce!!! And you know how much I specifically love pasta sauce.

Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce Ladle

I love my go-to pasta sauce recipe, but sometime I get bored and I want something different. And subsequently sometimes I have a partial bottle of red wine left over staring at me. This bottle was begging me to do something with it.  I obviously gave in, and the result was sensational!!

Red Wine Basile Pasta Sauce Jar Zoom Out

The rich, red wine adds an extra depth of flavor and a complexity to the sauce that I LOVED! This is a nice, thick, rich sauce that is bursting with fresh Italian herb flavors!

Red Wine Basile Pasta Sauce Jar Zoom In

Use it in a robust, meaty lasagna or in a lighter, waist-friendly vegetable lasagna, or pour a healthy scoop over pasta with meatballs, or eat it with a spoon straight from the pot (what?! You don’t do that too?). On the whole whatever you do with it, I know it will be fabulous!

By the way, doesn’t it seem cruel and unusual that Sex And The City isn’t on Netflix Instant?

Red Wine Basile Pasta Sauce Pinterest
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Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce

Red Wine Basil Pasta Sauce

  • Author: Lindsey
  • Total Time: 36 minute
  • Yield: Approximately 8 cups 1x


The red wine adds an extra depth of flavor and a complexity to this sensational red pasta sauce!!


  • 3 cups onion, finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup dry red wine (I used a reasonably priced Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 28 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock A great recipe for chicken stock [here]
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 large pinches of Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage


  1. Heat a 5 ½ to 7 quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add olive oil, swirling to coat. Saute onions and garlic until the onions are transluscent. You don’t want to brown them.
  2. Add the red wine and stir with a flat wooden spatula until the wine has reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add all of your remaining ingredients, bring to a slow boil then reduce heat to low and simmer sauce, covered, for 4 to 8 hours; stirring occasionally. You can add more chicken stock if the sauce gets too thick. I like a thicker sauce, so I allow mine to reduced for the last hour with the top off.
  4. After about 2 hours, I like to taste the sauce to make sure it doesn’t need any additional seasoning.
  5. Towards the end of your cooktime, taste the sauce again to see if it is too acidic. If it is and that isn’t your thing, you can add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to counterbalance that acid. I find it really varies by batch.


I like my pasta sauces thick, but if you don’t, just add more chicken stock to your liking and omit the step where I take the lid off the pot to cook it down. I do think thicker sauces are better for lasagna.

Recipe by American Heritage Cooking

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4-8 hours

Keywords: red wine, pasta sauce, italian herbs, pasta

Red Wine Basile Pasta Sauce Pinterest


  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen
    March 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    This sauce looks amazingly rich and hearty. Pinning!

    • Lindsey
      March 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks, Christin! And thanks for the pin 🙂

      It’s so delicious and super easy.

      • Connie
        March 18, 2014 at 11:54 am

        you can also add about a dozen baby carrots to the simmer process as an alternative to sugar to neutralize the acidic taste

        • Lindsey
          March 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

          I’ve never heard that but it sounds like a healthier alternative to 1T sugar! Thanks for sharing, Connie!

          • Connie
            March 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm

            My mother-in-law came over from Italy in the 70s and that is how she taught me. Not to mention the carrots are fabulous and fought over by the family at the end of the cooking process!! Give it a try some time!

          • Lindsey
            March 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

            I’m super excited to try it out! I’ll pick up some baby carrots at the store today!

          • Bill
            March 21, 2016 at 5:50 pm

            Baby carrots are just old carrots that are shaved down to still be sold. You may want to keep that in mind 😉

            I like the chicken stock idea with the muffin tins, thanks a bunch! I believe we have the same dishes as well. Are they 10 Strawberry Street?


    • Robert Collins
      June 25, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      I ca’;t stand Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City, but I tried your pasta sauce and I like it.

      • Lindsey
        June 25, 2018 at 8:34 pm

        lol ok!!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    March 10, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I totally miss renting a bunch of movies. ah nostalgia….

    This sauce looks like the perfect combo of flavors-it looks delicious!

    • Lindsey
      March 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Me too and Red Box, or whatever it’s called, totally doesn’t count.

      The sauce is divine! It’s my new favorite.

  • Liz
    March 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I love adding red wine to my spaghetti sauce! Your recipe sounds perfect!

    • Lindsey
      March 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      So yum! A little sip, a little in the sauce pot, a little sip…

  • Miss Kim @ behgopa
    March 12, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Love your hearty dishes. I don’t crave pasta often because that seems to be the most served thing for staff at a lot of restaurants. The pasta noodles are cheap and bought in bulk. And the ones we serve customers are made from scratch and rolled out. And you can’t eat store bought pasta again after you’ve tasted some of the fresh made stuff. I can imagine digging into a hand made pasta dish, with oodles of your sauce.

    I miss the neighborhood Blockbuster too. Miss browsing through the sections, taking my time, spending hours trying to make up my mind lol. Oh yeah, that reminds me. I’ve been paying for Netflix and haven’t used it in months! Any recommendations?

    • Lindsey
      March 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I feel for you – homemade is soooo much better than dried. I have a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid but I’ve never used it. I really want to try it out, but I feel like there is always something else I need to be doing!

      Netflix is my vice. I don’t know what your “thing” is but I will binge watch whole series like Pretty Little Liars, Downton Abby (on disk only), Gossip Girl, Revenge (Holy Addicting), Hart of Dixie. I want to try Scandal, House of Cards, Castle, and some others. Netflix is trouble

  • […] because spaghetti squash is so moist, you will want to use a thicker tomato sauce. Nobody likes soupy […]

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    October 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    […] 2 cups pasta sauce (I prefer this homemade thicker recipe) […]

  • Joe
    October 20, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Hey there!! Do you get the tomatoes diced? Crushed?

    • Lindsey
      October 20, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Hi Joe! I prefer to use diced tomatoes but I have used whole canned tomatoes when that was all that was available to me. I just crushed them in the pot with the back of a wooden spoon. Hope that helps!

  • Lee Peters
    February 4, 2016 at 9:34 am

    can I freeze this sauce?

    • Lindsey
      February 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Absolutely!! I do all the time!

  • Maria
    December 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Lindsey. My family and I loved eating lasagna with this pasta sauce in this cold weather! I added some mushrooms and chicken to my lasagna and it all tasted amazing together.

    • Lindsey
      January 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      That sounds fantastic, Maria!

  • […] Source: […]

  • Magen
    September 29, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I made this for eggplant parmigiana…. amazing ! Thanks for sharing

    • Lindsey
      October 6, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Oh I bet that was divine!

  • Colleen
    October 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Can this be made with fresh tomatoes and also can it be canned?

    • Lindsey
      October 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      You can definitely use fresh tomatoes but just be prepared to add a bit more water or stock because they aren’t as consistent as canned.

      • Mabyn
        August 10, 2020 at 7:20 pm

        If I were to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, how many cups would you say I’d need?

        • Lindsey
          August 18, 2020 at 10:18 am

          Hi Mabyn, I would go by weight and do the same weight as the canned. So 56oz of fresh tomatoes, peeled 🙂 I bet it is going to be delicious!

  • Morgan
    November 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I make this all the time now it’s simply amazing!!

    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      I’m so glad you love it!!!!!

  • Wolfy
    July 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Grazie Bella!

    • Lindsey
      July 3, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Özcan
    September 29, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Sounds great, I’m going to try this. Is the chicken stock essential for the flavor, or can I also use vegetable stock?

    • Lindsey
      October 4, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      You can substitute vegetable stock but it will taste a bit different. If you want it to be vegetarian, then just use the best veg stock you can find or make your own!

  • Nancy
    December 4, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Sounds great, but curious as to the 3 cups of onion. Am I reading that right?

    • Lindsey
      December 5, 2018 at 10:38 am

      YOu are, but everything is to your taste! Since they are pre-cooked and not added to the sauce raw, they impart a subtle flavor. But you do what feels right to you!

  • Kristina
    December 18, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    This sauce is definitely the best I’ve ever had! I use it in my lasagna and my lasagna is the best ever!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Lindsey
      January 1, 2019 at 11:14 am

      Thanks Kristina! I am very particular about my tomato sauce lol! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Happy New Year!

  • Zoe
    April 28, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    One quick question: why not brown the onion?

    • Lindsey
      April 29, 2020 at 10:13 am

      It’s not traditional but go ahead and do you! Though if you are going to brown the onions, add the garlic later because burnt garlic is gross 🙂

  • Emily
    November 30, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    This pasta sauce is the best we’ve ever had and it’s now a staple in our house! It has the perfect balance of flavors, and the thickness is customizable depending on your preference (something you don’t get from the jar). We usually make two big batches, divide the sauce into 16oz jars, and store them in the freezer until needed. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    • Lindsey
      December 4, 2020 at 11:13 am

      Yay! Thank you for commenting Emily! I always freeze a batch too!

  • Alisha Ruiss
    August 8, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    This sauce is so incredible! I think I followed this recipe last year and it turned out even better this time.
    Additions and substitutions:

    For the tomatoes, I used one 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, and the rest was a combination of fresh and frozen tomatoes.
    I used tomato paste that had herbs in them as well so I am sure this added to the flavour.
    Left out the sage since I didn’t have it, added a bay leaf, and more red wine and basil than the recipe called for – a little water too, just enough to get the leftover tomato paste out of the cans.

    Finally, I had made a batch of kale beef burgers using this recipe:
    (only I added the onions – white instead of red just because I didn’t have red – into the meat mix instead of as a topping, plus 2 eggs for binding purposes, and a bit of confit d’ongions and pesto I wanted to use up – a tbsp or so each), and I had more than enough patties for myself, so I added what was left of the meat mix into the sauce (I’d say a 3rd of the recipe).

    It was just enough meat to add significant flavour without the sauce being too heavy.
    I cooked it for a full 7 hours overnight and wow.

    • Lindsey
      August 14, 2021 at 11:02 am

      Amazing, Alisha!!! So happy to hear it. This is my go-to red sauce right now. This or the quick 15-minute one


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