Introduction: Simple Creamy Pasta Sauce
This is a really easy recipe to make. It can be done in twenty minutes from a standing start if you can chop faster than me or use ready-grated parmesan.
It also only uses one pot which is a bonus.
50g (2 oz) of butter
1/2 a head of garlic
1 bottle white wine
500g (1lb) linguine or fettuccini
200g (7oz) of grated parmesan
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1: Preparation
Break the bulb of garlic into individual cloves, top and tail them, peel off the papery skin and then mince them. I like a bit of visual texture, so I slice the cloves and then push the slices through a square cutter to give 1mm (1/16" inch) cubes of garlic.
Grate the cheese. It's going to be melted through the pasta, so it doesn't have to be perfect, but a finer grate will mean it melts more quickly and mixes more evenly.
If you have a pan which is large enough to take the full length of the pasta lying in a thin layer, then great, but unless it's square there won't be enough depth of liquid to cook. I break the pasta in half which means that it can be laid in a spiral in the pan. If you try to break the entire bundle in one go then bits will get everywhere (interesting physics) but if you do it in four or five handfuls and grip it near the middle then it's really easy and quick.
Step 2: Liquid
Melt the butter in a large pan.
Turn down the heat and soften the garlic, but don't brown it.
Once the garlic has become translucent pour in the bottle of wine and add some salt.
Bring that all to a brisk boil.
Step 3: Cooking the Pasta
Check the cooking time listed on the pasta and then dump it in the boiling liquid.
Keep the heat going and stir frantically to stop the pasta from sticking to itself.
After a couple of minutes you can lower the heat (and the franticality of the stirring) but keep an eye on the pan and stir regularly for the duration of the cooking time. The pasta will absorb the wine as it cooks, so make sure it doesn't stick to the pan and burn.
If the wine is all absorbed, then a little water can be added.
Step 4: Finishing the Sauce
At the end of the cooking time, take the pan off the heat.
Tip in the grated cheese and the cream and get stirring. The aim is to coat every piece of pasta with the cheese before the pasta is too cold to melt it.
Serve with some flat-leaf parsley if your garden is so blessed, and with lots of freshly ground black pepper.