This garlic butter sauce for pasta is simple but spot on in flavor! Pair garlic with Parmesan and pasta water for a killer sauce.
- 8 ounces* short pasta, like penne, rigatoni, or casarecce, plus saved pasta water (gluten free if desired)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta (and save the pasta water!): Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Set the timer for a few minutes less than the package instructions and then taste: the pasta should be just done, still with some firmness. The pasta should also taste salty from the salted water. Save out 1/2 cup pasta water using a glass measuring cup for the sauce, then quickly drain the pasta.
- Make the garlic butter sauce: Mince the garlic. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and garlic just starts to turn golden. Remove from the heat before garlic browns (watch it carefully because it can brown quickly!).
- Serve: Toss with the drained pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and just enough pasta water until saucy (we used 2 to 3 tablespoons pasta water). Taste again and add a few more pinches of salt if desired. Enjoy warm.
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian inspired
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Garlic butter sauce for pasta