Life. Love. Food

Red Wine and Tomato Cheesy Pasta

I have always been fascinated with wine. Not just for drinking but by the amount of stuff you can use it in to trasform your cooking. I once read this quote “When in doubt, add wine” and I can help but agree. It really does add this soft yet assertive taste to food without making it seem like you tried too hard.

I made this pasta dish when my sisters were home in August during their semester break. They always DEMAND that I make them nice things before they go back to college. But who can blame them?! And after all, that is part of what makes me a big sister- To spoil those who come after me 🙂 after plenty of coersion and bribes that come in the form of jewellery and cute dresses. This dish is delighfully saucy & cheesy. And as the clouds roll in and rainy season starts, have this on your to-make list.

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COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES                             SERVES: 4

My Pasta Ingredients

red wine and tomato cheesy pasta ingredients_ how to make pasta that has

1 packet of pasta (shell shaped)

1 red onion, finely diced

3 Garlic Clove, minced

2 large Tomatoes, grated

1/2  cup of red wine

1  cup of cheddar Cheese

1/2 a teaspoon dried basil

1/2 a teaspoon of white pepper

1 tablespoon of tomato paste


In your sufuria, put some water to boil. Add your shell-shaped pasta and cook them about 2 mins shy of the package directions. This is because they will finish cooking in the sauce. Once they are done, remove them from the heat, run them through some cold water and set them aside. This allows them not to stick to each other, the same thing we did here and here.

Meanwhile, in another separate sufuria, heat up garlic and the red onion with some vegetable oil together with the white pepper  until the onions are soft and the garlic becomes fragrant.

sauteeing the onion and garlic together with the spices allows everything to come together and all the flavors to

Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste and mix it in. Add the basil and the wine and allow this to simmer for about 3-7 minutes. When mum forgets she has wine, take it and cook with it when she is away LOL! I am gonna get it for sure when she finds out 😀

Make sure you use only a dry red wine!!!! DO. NOT. USE. SWEET. RED. WINE. I would recommend a Carbarnet Sauvignon, from which ever brand fits your budget. Just make sure it is a Carbarnet Sauvignon.

Allow this to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the other star ingredients: white wine, and let this simmer for another 10-15 min on low heat. The simmering down is important so that the alcohol cooks off and the flavor notes of the wine bloom and meld with everything else. Because the alcohol burns off, you CANNOT get drunk off of this soup.


Will one get drunk when they eat food with alcohol as an ingredient?


Cooking is very much a science as it is an art. Do you guys remember when we were learning about various liquid boiling points during Chemistry class in high school? We learnt that alcohol has a very low boiling point. Meaning, it evaporates very fast when heat is applied. Now, when you cook with an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol evaporates in the very early stages of cooking. It is cooked off. What is left behind is the other ingredients and flavors that were used to make the alcoholic beverage; and that is EXACTLY what we are after. We cook with alcohol not to get high (which doesn’t even happen), but to get to the other layered flavors there in. Please please remember this! When someone tells you they got high after eating food cooked with alcohol, just know they are lying because you know and understand the science behind what happens when you cook with alcohol.


using wine in cooking and making food adds alot of character and depth to your food_red wine and tomato cheesy

After this,add in the cooked pasta and the cheese and mix it in until all the cheese has melted. I used cheddar, however parmesan works BEST!

cheddar cheese makes the pasta alot creamire and tasty_red wine and tomato cheesy

Turn off the heat and garnish with your finely chopped coriander.

kenyan food bloggers_red wine and tomato cheesy by kaluhi adagala

This pasta dish got cleared within 30 minutes of making it. And that is a clear sign about how good this truly was! It is too easy to make and too tasty to have. It is one of those dishes that would be perfect for a girls night in.

kenyan food bloggers_top kenyan food bloggers_red wine and tomato cheesy

The sea shell shapes allows the tomato reduction and the cheese to collect in them, like little cups. This makes each bite so rich and juicy. You can use any other type of pasta, but I chose the shell shaped ones for the above reason. Serve this with some juicy meatballs and you get ready for the avalanche of praise coming your way for the best meal EVER!

kenyan food_pasta with red wine tomatoes and basil_how to cook pasta_red wine and tomato cheesy

Don’t you just wish you could reach out and gobble this down?! I know you do!

To many more,


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  1. Cheptoo Cece

    This looks amazing. Never tried cooking pasta with wine. This recipe is on my list.
    “Foodie Heaven”:

    • kaluhiskitchen

      It was also my very first time cooking pasta with wine. The risk totally paid off! 🙂

  2. Pumzi

    Your recipes all look and sound so yummy! I really hope I can bring myself to try and whip one of them. I’m not the biggest fan of cooking but I’m definitely a big fan of eating, so you’re right, I really do wish I could reach out and gobble that up. 30 minutes you say? Gimme 10. Lol! 🙂

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Trust me, they taste just as they look and sound :)). Just begin with one, and progress from there. They are very easy, I promise 🙂

  3. Shix

    what kind of wine do you use?sweet or dry?
    and which brand
    i gotta make this asap

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Shix,

      I used Dry red wine. The brand will not make much of a difference but if you really want to know, I used openers. The exact one in the pictures. Sorry for the delay in reply, I was on my Christmas break.

  4. Meg Wamuyu

    Allow this to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the other star ingredients: white wine, and let this simmer for another 10-15 min on low heat

    Please tell me which white wine to use here…

    • Kaluhi

      The full flavor of a dry red is best for this because of the beef

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