I LOVE a good white wine sauce for pasta! This sauce is everything you want in a pasta dish- garlicky, buttery, and still very light compared to others!
I made this and posted it to my Instagram story a couple weeks ago and I was surprised to get SO many requests for the recipe. Pasta is not my strength in cooking by any means, but I can say that this is a solid recipe.
This recipe is adapted from my best friend Donna– she has a culinary background and lived in Italy for a few years. We had a girl’s night a while back and she made this for dinner. I watched everything she did because I know nothing about pasta, and I was surprised at how easy it was!
She made this garlic butter white wine sauce and served it with angel hair pasta, shrimp, mussels, and clams. My god it was amazing! I had never been much of a fan of pasta before but now I crave this all the time. I cannot say it is authentic, but it is DELICIOUS!
I’m using ingredients that I ALWAYS have in my kitchen.
Base– The two main bases for the sauce are olive oil and white wine. Use Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc. It does not have to be good wine, I actually use very cheap wine for cooking. If you can’t consume alcohol, you can substitute white wine vinegar, chicken broth, or a mixture of the two.
Aromatics– I like to use shallots, onions, & garlic
Seasonings– Old bay, black pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, parsley & salt to taste.
Proteins– Shrimp & mussels. I buy both frozen so I always have them on hand, but use fresh if you can! Alternatively, you can use chicken or any other proteins you like.
Other- Butter, cherry tomatoes, pasta noodles of your choice, parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
I don’t specify an exact amount of salt because you should be seasoning every time you add something new to the pan. Get in the habit of doing that and tasting as you go. This way the flavors can develop in layers and you are in full control of how it is seasoned.
Other ways to prepare & enjoy
This is a very basic version of a white wine sauce pasta. Sometimes I add fresh greens at the end like arugula and basil. I like to make a quick garlic bread with parmesan cheese as well. You can add anything you want! Sometimes I even make this with chicken and andouille sausage, and add a bit of Slap Ya Mama or Tony’s creole seasoning.
If you’re going to make it with chicken, I recommend cooking the chicken first. Get a nice sear on it in the pan, set it aside and then continue with this recipe in that same pan scraping all the brown bits and juices from the chicken.
You can also skip the pasta and make this as a saucy seafood plate to dip some bread into. I make it this way sometimes as a side to a steak dinner.
More pasta recipes
If you like this recipe, try some of my other pasta recipes on the blog!
Garlic Butter & White Wine Seafood Pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp shallot minced
- 2 tbsp onion minced
- 2 tbsp garlic minced (use less if you don't like garlic)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste about 1 tsp total for me
- 3/4 cup white wine chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc
- 10 cherry tomatoes halved
- 10 mussels
- 7 oz tiger shrimp peeled, deveined, tails on
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 4-5 oz angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil on low and sauté the shallots & onions until fragrant. Season with a sprinkle of salt.
- Add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Add more oil if needed.
- Add the Old Bay, garlic powder, & black pepper.
- Add the tomatoes, season with salt to taste and sauté for 1 minute
- Turn the heat up just a bit and add the white wine. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.
- Lightly season the shrimp with a bit of Old Bay, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add the shrimp, mussels, parsley, and dollops of butter. Cover for 3-4 minutes or until the shells open.
- Remove the shrimp & mussels when they are done and set them aside. Turn heat back down to a low simmer.
- Add your al dente pasta to the pan with 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water (make sure you salt your water when boiling the pasta). Mix until coated evenly
- Add the parmesan and mix well. Turn off the heat once most of the sauce has been absorbed.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice and give it one more toss
- Plate with seafood and top with parsley, parmesan, and crushed red pepper.