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Easy white wine and butter pasta sauce

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5 from 9 reviews


An easy and addictive white wine and butter pasta sauce flavoured with garlic, lots of parmesan and parsley.


Pasta of your choice, 200g dried or 300g fresh, I used spaghetti

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2  cup white wine, I use a Sauvignon Blanc

70g butter, cut into four equal pieces (see notes)

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper (optional)

60g parmesan, finely grated (see notes)

1/2 cup packed flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped


  1. Get a pot of well salted water on to boil and cook your pasta according to instructions. If you are using fresh pasta you will cook it when the sauce is almost ready as it won't take long. (see notes)
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan (that will fit the pasta in at the end) over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so, moving it around so it doesn't brown.
  4. Lower the heat slightly and add the wine, it will bubble up a lot.
  5. Cook so it is gently simmering for about 4 mins, you are wanting to reduce it down roughly by half.
  6. Add the butter pieces in, one at a time, letting each piece melt and whisking well in between each addition.
  7. You should end up with a very yellow and slightly thickened sauce at the end. You want to time your pasta cooking so the sauce isn't sitting around too long as it can separate. Keep whisking it over a low heat if your pasta isn't ready.
  8. Add a 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and whisk vigorously. I like to whisk and shake the pan at the same time to get a nice emulsified sauce.
  9. Add the salt and pepper (taste the sauce first if you are worried about it being too salty etc, it depends what butter you use)
  10. Add the pasta straight in and toss with the sauce using tongs.
  11. Turn the heat down to low and sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the pasta in an even layer.
  12. Leave it alone until it is melting on top, about 1 min, then toss it with tongs really quickly. Tossing over and over until you get a nice thick sauce. Check out video below to see this in action!
  13. Add the parsley, stir and serve!
  14. Top with extra parmesan if you wish (I do!)


  • BUTTER - I generally use unsalted butter in my recipes as I like to control the seasoning myself. Salted butters have all kinds of different ratios of salt and here in NZ I sometimes find salted butter too salty. If you use salted, leave the salt amount out and always season to taste anyway.
  • PARMESAN - getting parmesan to melt into a butter sauce isn't always the easiest, have you ever ended up with stringy parmesan in a sauce? One thing that helps is the way you grate the parmesan. I use a smoothie maker to blend it into a fine crumb. If you don't have one then use a microplane or the star side of your box grater so it is really fine. Never use the regular side of your box grater and NEVER use pre grated parmesan in a pack, it's full of additives and fresh is best, always.
  • PARSLEY - It's totally optional, leave it out if you don't like it. I think it adds a nice fresh touch to an otherwise quite rich sauce.
  • SALT AND PEPPER - If you have made my recipes you probably know I am a big pepper fan. You can absolutely leave the pepper out if you wish. As I mention above, season to your own tastes.
  • TIMING - It's always tricky timing the sauce and the pasta cooking in any recipe. This sauce takes roughly 7 - 8 mins before you add the pasta so if using dried pasta you can start the sauce after the pasta has been cooking for a couple of mins. Hope that makes sense!
  • Need an easy side dish? Serve it with my Iceberg Wedge Salad.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Butter Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired