Buttery Garlic Pasta

buttery-garlic-pastaFrom the archives: If you’re looking for a quick, simple back to school dinner or just a simple healthy meal that your kids will devour without arguments, this is the dish for you. It goes from stove to table in less than 20 minutes and is the perfect complement for a crisp salad or a side of good, crusty bread. Enjoy!

No matter what skill level you reach as a cook or what triumphs of culinary complication you manage to master over the course of a lifetime it’s a plain simple truth that sometimes simpler is better.  I feel that the simplest of dishes with the fewest ingredients actually take more skill to master than dishes with complex ingredient lists and prolonged methods.

In a simple dish there is no room for error.  You can’t cover a mistake with another layer, or a touch of this or that.  This dish is like that.  It has just 5 ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.  A novice cook can easily make this dish and make it well. To make it perfectly every time is something that I strive for… And so far have not mastered.

buttery-garlic-pasta-sq-lg

My kids don’t mind that I keep trying.  It’s one of their favorite foods, whether as a side dish or as a meal in itself.  My wife fell in love with it on her last visit as well.  Both of these things make me push myself to make it better every time I cook it.  To add just a little more care.  To be sure the pasta is perfectly al dente.  That there isn’t too much or too little of any one thing. Because there’s no place to hide if I screw it up.

Do you have a simple dish like this in your arsenal?  Is there something that you feel could always be just a little better than it was the last time?  For me this is that dish..  But then, it’s so delicious that even if I’ve never achieved its pinnacle, the other versions are incredible, too.

Buttery Garlic Pasta
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound pasta. (I prefer gemelli for this dish)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Method
  1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water generously then add the pasta. Stir once to loosen the noodles. Cook until al dente (about 9 minutes for gemelli). Drain and set aside
  2. Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic. Melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat, swirling often to combine. Add garlic to the butter and olive oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic just begins to brown. Add paprika, salt, pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Add the pasta to the skillet, toss to coat all noodles evenly and test for seasoning. (you will probably need more salt.)
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. Share and Enjoy!

 

What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

Each time I make this I tweak something just a little.  I prefer the garlic crisped as it takes on a slightly nutty and bitter flavor that cuts the richness of the butter well.

Browning the butter adds depth but the added nuttiness almost demands the addition of an acid to the dish; something I’m striving not to use here…  The aim of this dish is perfection in simplicity.

Links to other recipes like this:

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Comments

  1. Mrs. SoMP says

    You are so right!!! I fell in love with this dish. Thank you for posting it honey, so I can make it over here!

  2. Nic says

    I was the weird child who insisted on having her pasta naked. Butter, salt and pepper and maybe some parmesan were all I would agree to. Now that I’m all grown up I add garlic. Simply perfection. I still avoid all things drowned in tomato sauce even though I love tomatoes. =P

    • says

      @Honey,
      It’s my pleasure baby! let me know if you come up with any interesting variations.

      @Nic,
      I’m not at all opposed to tomato based pasta sauces, but this is one of my kids’ faves and as such deserved a place here.

  3. Alexxx says

    what you could do, if you like the nuttiness, heat up the oil REAL hot, brown the garlic till crisp, set the garlic aside, then add the butter, and throw in the golden garlic at the end.

    you will definitely need the pasta cooking water as well to gel the tastes together.

    Peas!
    A

  4. dan says

    You should try reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water right before you drain the noodles; add it to the pan with the fat and swirl on the range till most of the water boils off and the sauce emulsifies and forms. The starch from the water will add a layer of texture as well as help the sauce cling to the pasta better without using another ingredient.

  5. rosanne says

    ITALIAN dressing goes well on any kind of pasta.. the zesty kind with a lot of pepper and a little hot sauce

  6. Sarah says

    How many servings does this yield? I want to make this for dinner tonight, but I’ll be the only one eating!

    • Jerry says

      Sorry to get back so late, but the recipe serves four to six. Just cut the numbers down. A cup of pasta, a pat of butter and a clove of garlic should do it

  7. Anurag Srivastava says

    Simply great…. I was looking for something very simple with garlic base and this was like a perfect match….. Thanks a ton for sharing….
    I added some corriander leaves in the end….. :)

  8. Dana says

    I tried this today for lunch and its delicious! I added lemon instead of paprika. I also added some chicken, since it was my main lunch. I love it!!

  9. Rianna yang says

    I added shrimp to mine with a little more garlic & it was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  10. Crystal says

    Great recipe! I usually add a generous amount of fresh herbs to mine as well, such as basil. However, I’m not so sure that you could call it healthy. White pasta has a lot of carbs and very little nutritional value. And the butter speaks for itself.

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