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It Only Takes 3 Simple Ingredients To Create A Delectable White Wine Pasta Sauce

White wine and butter spaghetti with herbs
White wine and butter spaghetti with herbs - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Pasta is one of the most fun ingredients, partly because it can be a blank canvas. Toss it in a classic red sauce like light, summery marinara or a simmered, meaty ragu. Stir in an herbaceous pesto, a creamy vodka-spiked pink sauce, or even something veggie-based like butternut squash alfredo. But sometimes the occasion calls for keeping it simple, to let the pasta shine, too. (Maybe you're making fresh pasta that you want to show off, for instance.) In that case, a light, buttery white wine sauce can be the perfect choice.

There is a profoundly easy, three-ingredient pasta sauce for which all you need is white wine, butter, and parmesan cheese. In only minutes and with a fraction of the elements for which other sauces might call, you can have a satisfying dinner on the table that is a true palate-pleaser. Thanks to the salty cheese and dry wine, the rich butter, and the emulsifying power of your starchy pasta water, this sauce is a snap -- and a soon-to-be-staple in your repertoire.

Read more: 7 Butter Brands You Should Buy, And 7 You Shouldn't

Making Your Sauce

Pasta in boiling water pot
Pasta in boiling water pot - Nopadol Uengbunchoo/Getty Images

Like many simple dishes, this three-ingredient pasta sauce relies heavily on the quality of the ingredients. Unsalted butter is best since parmesan will bring the salinity factor. European butter typically has a higher milk fat content, resulting in a slightly richer sauce. On the cheese front, it's best to buy a wedge you can shred yourself, as many bagged versions have cellulose (this prevents clumping, but also impacts the flavor and how the cheese melts -- an important element in a recipe that relies on emulsification). Select a versatile dry, acidic white like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for wine.

You can work with roughly equal parts dry white wine to shredded cheese and about a ¼ of that amount in butter. Like other simple pasta sauces (think cacio e pepe) the trick here is all about emulsifying through the combination of butter, cheese, and pasta water (which has been infused with starch -- a known emulsifier). This creates that creamy quality and helps the sauce adhere to your noodles without a single drop of cream. After reducing the wine to about half, toss in the other ingredients and combine them before adding the pasta to coat, then you'll be in perfect shape for a memorable, repeatable meal that you can easily customize.

Completing And Customizing Your Meal

Buttered spaghetti with shrimp
Buttered spaghetti with shrimp - MariaKovaleva/Shutterstock

There's nothing more needed to enjoy this simple pasta with white wine sauce blissfully. However, it's also a beautiful starting point for you to introduce ingredients as you see fit. Add red pepper flakes for a kick, or garlic for some zippiness. Fresh herbs and more cheese are a wonderful way to finish before serving, and the flavor profile here accommodates everything from basil to tarragon to sage. A bit of lemon zest also brings out the flavors of your white wine and adds a bright pop to your pasta.

To make things more substantial, sautéed shellfish (you're not far from shrimp scampi territory here) or Italian sausage are complementary protein additions. You can also stretch your pasta by incorporating greens and veggies like cauliflower, kale, spinach, or when summer comes around, fresh tomatoes. Round out your spread with a classic Italian table salad. And if you want to stay on the three-ingredient theme, there's even a nutty Italian cake called torta di noci that will fit the bill for post-pasta dessert bliss. However you plan to serve your pasta, this simple sauce will help make preparation quick and easy.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.