There are a few occasions when at the end of the party in the wee hours of the early morning when you finally call it a night, you’re left with some untouched wine and throwing away such goodness is something that one must never do.

This recipe calls for just half a cup of red wine (and it can honestly be of any kind/region/grape…). And you know, if it’s white, it would work just as well here also. That’s the beauty of cooking – there are really no rules!

I use a bundle of tomatoes which are roughly chopped up, and cooked with lots of garlic and onions, and slow roasted. I added a lot of red pepper flakes as well as a whole large red chilli because I do like it hot! The red wine is thrown in with fresh basil, a pinch of sugar and pink peppercorns and finally, the cooked pasta.

Now why cook with wine? Wine cooked into your food will not get your remotely drunk – the alcohol evaporates and you are left with a burst of flavour. The wine simply enhances the other ingredients and helps round off with good balance.

The measurements are enough for two normal eaters, or one very large eater.

See video tutorial on my Instagram Highlights:  @kitchentherapyindia

Note: pink peppercorns can be replaced with black pepper

Note 2: red wine can be omitted entirely, and instead add some of the pasta water

The Recipe
Serves 2


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tomatoes, halved and quartered
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 red chilli, fresh
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 10g basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 100 g penne pasta, cooked
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add all the tomatoes with the salt, red chili flakes, pink peppercorns and half the amount of basil.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for at least 20 minutes.
  • Add the wine and remaining basil and sugar and stir to cook.
  • Cook for another 5-8 minutes before adding the pasta.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.