I’ve been waiting to post this creamy white wine pasta sauce for a long time. Partly because it has evolved so much since I started making it and I was waiting for the perfect seafood dish to pair it with.
This recipe is a combination of my favorite mussels recipe, which is essentially steamed mussels in a creamy garlic butter sauce. Plus another simple pasta dish I frequently make with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese (essentially raw pesto ingredients, minus the pine nuts).
Combining the two simple concepts perfected the creamy, garlicky white wine sauce that was perfect for pasta and mussels.
How Do You Make a Creamy White Wine Pasta Sauce?
It all comes down to three simple ingredients. White wine, whipping cream, and Parmesan cheese. Without whipping cream and Parmesan cheese, the sauce is too thin and doesn’t have the same hearty flavor and texture you need. You can easily thicken whipping/heavy cream by simmering on the stovetop. You won’t get the right consistency with light cream or half and half. The cream is the vehicle, the wine, garlic, butter, and herbs bring all the flavor.
How to Cook Mussels in White Wine
If you’ve never made mussels before they are incredibly easy to make. You can simply steam mussels in a covered saucepan with white wine, garlic, butter, and herbs for about 5 minutes until they pop open. That’s all there is to it.
For this recipe, we’ll steam the mussels in wine, garlic and herbs, add the fully cooked pasta (linguine or spaghetti) along with whipping cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until thickened and serve immediately. This will had a subtle creamy texture that’s delicious and not too heavy.
That’s really all there is to it. A perfect date night dinner without the gourmet effort (I’ve been fooling Patty to this day).
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Mussels over pasta with light, yet creamy white wine sauce made with garlic, butter, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, and cream. Tossed with linguine and simmered until creamy.
- 2 pounds mussels, rinsed
- 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Rinse the mussels and remove beards if necessary, discard any that do not fully close when rinsing (these are dead).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and cook linguine until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large covered saucepan on medium-high heat. Cook garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, basil, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cover and simmer mussels in the white wine sauce until fully cooked and shells open up, about 5 minutes. Stir mussels to coat in the sauce.
- When linguine is finished, strain and stir into the mussels and white wine sauce. Now add cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally until the sauce slightly thickens. Serve topped with a pinch of fresh basil, more Parmesan cheese, and 6-7 mussels.
Keywords: white wine pasta sauce, garlic butter sauce for pasta