A white wine and butter pasta sauce is such an easy go to. With the addition of garlic and parmesan you've got an addictive mid week meal that will become a staple. This sauce comes together in the time it takes to cook your pasta. Eating it straight out of the pan is highly encouraged!
Hello! This is the first recipe I am writing up in a little while and am coming in with a VERY simple one. I crave this kind of pasta sauce a lot, it has all the things that make a sauce delicious.
The Italian purists won't be overly happy as this is definitely more of a French based sauce. We all know I am not traditional. A white wine and butter pasta sauce really is one of my most favourite things.
The addition of garlic and lots of parmesan makes it crazy good. Make sure you follow all my tips and tricks below for getting a perfectly emulsified and smooth sauce.
I used a dried linguine but it will work with any shape, fresh or dried. You could try a hand rolled shape like my hand rolled gnocchi sardi or my true love orecchiette. If you would like to try some other super fast sauces try my cacio e pepe or my fast and delicious creamy nduja pasta sauce.
Ingredients for this easy white wine and butter pasta sauce
White wine - I know lots of people say that you can cook with anything but I do like to use wine I like to drink a glass of. This is only half a cup so open something you like and then you can drink it with the dinner! I generally always use a Sauvignon Blanc.
Garlic - I always use fresh garlic cloves, I really don't like the taste of minced garlic in a jar. It really doesn't take long to chop up fresh cloves.
Butter - As I explain in the recipe notes I tend to use unsalted butter in all my dishes. I like to control the seasoning myself and I find the salted butter here in New Zealand can be a touch too salty. Once you've made a sauce with butter that is too salty, not much can be done. I would always prefer to add the seasoning in myself.
Parmesan - Definitely use the best quality you can but even I use a basic supermarket one sometimes, cheese is expensive! Never use pre-grated parmesan in a bag, it's full of additives.
Pasta water - ALWAYS reserve pasta water when you drain it. Transfer the pasta straight into the sauce from the water so then the pasta water is just left sitting in the pot for you to use as you need.
Tips for getting parmesan to melt into a pasta sauce
- Adding parmesan into a sauce seems like the easiest thing you could do right? But have you ever had parmesan turn into a stringy mess or clump into little balls? Nightmare. You might have seen when chefs make something like a cacio e pepe they toss the pan really quickly. It's not the easiest action to do, especially for home cooks so I like to do it another way.
- Firstly, your parmesan needs to be grated really finely. I have found the best method is using a little smoothie maker (one with the spinny blade) to blend it into a crumb texture. If you don't have one of those use a microplane or the star side of a box grater to get it really fine.
- When you add the pasta to the butter sauce, give it a good toss then level the pasta out evenly. Lower the heat to really low and then sprinkle the parmesan in a nice even layer on top. You want the parmesan hitting the pasta, not the butter so that's why it is good to get the pasta in a good flat layer at the bottom first.
- Let it melt gently then toss really quickly with tongs (or a spatula for short shapes) until it is all emulsified together. Serve it quickly! Make sure you watch some of my reels on instagram so you can see this process in action!
Why pasta water is your best friend!
You'll hear me harp on about the magic that is pasta water in 99% of my recipes. It really is a key ingredient in every sauce I make. The starch left behind in the water acts as a thickening agent and helps sauces cling to the pasta.
I couldn't make a sauce without it. I never EVER drain my pasta in a colander, I always transfer it directly to the sauce using a spider strainer. That way the pasta pot full of water is left there for you to ladle in as you need. if you have seen my reels on instagram you'll notice my sauces are SAUCY.
Pasta soaks up liquid so quickly so I add enough pasta water to make it quite liquidy. By the time I serve into bowls and take to the table it hasn't dried up. You'll get to know what the right consistency is with some practice, you can't go wrong though I promise!
Read my tips above for getting parmesan to melt into a sauce. I let it melt gently on TOP of the pasta and then toss really quickly until it is silky smooth. Have the temp low and don't let the parmesan hit the liquid, just the pasta.
Timing is always a touch tricky but after the first time you make it, you'll have it down. This sauce takes about 7 minutes to make so if using dried pasta you'll start the sauce once the pasta has been cooking for a couple of minutes.
You can if you are stressed about the timing. Just make sure you reserve some pasta water before draining. Add a knob of butter to the cooked pasta, it stops it overcooking.
Absolutely! Do a straight double of everything. I test for two as that is how many people are in my house and I can't stand food waste!
Want some other sauces to try?
If you loved this easy white wine and butter pasta sauce then check out all my other butter sauces. I would suggest my 10 minute lemon butter pasta as your next dish. For something with a bit more kick try my nduja butter pasta, it's so quick and easy. One of my favourite recipes of late is my balsamic cherry tomato pasta.
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print