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fork twirling garlic butter pasta on gray plate

Garlic Butter Pasta

This simple pasta dish is made with fresh herbs, lemon, cheese and a delicious sauce.
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 446kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 1 lb bucatini
  • 7 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup half and half
  • juice and zest from one lemon
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add panko breadcrumbs and cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and once cool stir in chopped basil. Set aside.
  • Heat remaining butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and garlic and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with wine and stir to scrape up brown bits. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Once sauce has reduced slightly, stir in half-and-half, lemon juice and zest, simmering for 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep on low heat until pasta is ready.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta to al dente and save ½ cup of pasta water. Once ready, toss the pasta in with the sauce. Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese and pasta water and coat the pasta. Then stir in the remaining Parmesan. Serve with the breadcrumb mixture, freshly grated Parmesan and more crushed red pepper if desired.


  • Use quality dry white wine that you’d be willing to drink. The flavor of the sauce comes from the wine. Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay are best.
  • Cook the pasta until just al dente as the pasta will cook more when tossing in sauce.
  • Add some asparagus or green beans if you want some vegetables.
  • Use freshly grated Parmesan to finish the sauce. Never buy pre-shredded Parmesan cheese as it contains wood pulp. Blocks of Parmesan cheese are also cheaper.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g