How to Make a White Wine Pasta Sauce
Although pasta goes great with all kinds of sauces, the gentle aromatic appeal of a white wine pasta sauce is something incredibly special. White wine pasta sauce is so easy to make and other ingredients which go well with the wine include garlic, butter and parsley.
A lot of these white wine pasta sauce recipes might include olive oil instead of the butter, or alongside it, and you can make such a sauce even if you don’t really drink white wine, since you are just using it for a rich flavor and typically only need a splash.
When making a white wine pasta sauce, it is important to use a white wine you would drink, not something labeled ‘cooking wine’ or something you don’t like, the reason being this is one of the main flavors in the finished dish, so use good quality ingredients and the resulting white wine sauce for your pasta will have a nice taste and not disappoint you.
Although whole wheat pasta is popular these days because of its fiber content, I like to use white pasta, and I also feel it goes best with a light, aromatic pasta sauce because white pasta has a more neutral taste so the flavors in the sauce will be more evident.
The following recipe blends olive oil, butter and white wine with red and black pepper, garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese, for a really delicious dish. If you want to make any tweaks, perhaps you could add some lightly steamed vegetables to the dish, such as sliced mushrooms or asparagus – fresh of course!
You could also add shrimp or chicken. If you do want to add any extras, prepare them in another pan and simply toss them with the finished pasta and white wine pasta sauce at the end.
Tips on Choosing and Cooking the Pasta
You can use any kind of pasta in this recipe – penne, rigatoni, fusilli, pretty much anything really. You could even use spaghetti. The pasta should be cooked to ‘al dente’ which means tender but not too soft. Follow the directions on the package and taste a piece of pasta when the time is up, to see if it’s ready. Be careful not to burn your lip (yes, the voice of experience here!)
How to Serve Pasta in White Wine Sauce
Because the finished dish is, well, cream-colored, you might want to add a splash of color, and this can be achieved in a number of ways.
You could serve some steamed vegetables on the side. Consider broccolini or regular broccoli, some green beans or asparagus. Even think about bruschetta or garlic bread (with parsley) if you’re in the mood for a carb-fest! Any of those would be a good contrast with white wine pasta sauce. Another idea is to serve a crisp green salad with the pasta in white wine sauce, or you could just serve it as it is with some sprigs of parsley on there for a splash of green.
Use good quality ingredients when making a white wine pasta sauce recipe, like a good quality olive oil and fresh (not wilted) parsley, and the result will be really nice. You might want to serve this as a romantic Valentines meal (you will have some left over unless you halve the recipe) or even as a special treat. It is also simple enough to throw together at any time. You will have plenty of white wine left over so serve a glass (or 2!) with the meal.
- 1 lb (450g) uncooked white pasta
- ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup (125 ml) white wine
- Small handful chopped flat parsley
- Small handful grated fresh parmesan
- Cook the pasta to al dente following the directions on the package.
- Heat the oil over a medium heat.
- Add the garlic and crushed red pepper, then sauté for a minute or 2, or until golden.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, white wine and butter.
- Stir for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat.
- Toss the hot cooked pasta with the sauce, stirring in the cheese and parsley.