I’m a huge fan of pasta recipes that involve a sauce that comes together as quickly as it takes the pasta itself to cook. This is one of those (as is my Courgette Chilli Pasta).
This recipe came about a couple of years ago when my girlfriend and I came home from the pub in urgent need of some carbs. I threw this together with what was in the fridge and I think we were both surprised by just how good this cobbled-together meal turned out. But we had been drinking, and sometimes your senses aren’t the most reliable after a few (ahem) beers. So, it had to later be tested under more sober conditions and, very pleasingly, it was confirmed to be just as delicious.
I’ve made this pasta dish dozens of times since. It’s creamy and garlicky with a slight tang cutting through from the white wine and a nice sharpness from the cheese – pecorino is my first choice, but a mature cheddar also works great.
Serve this up for a date night (when you’re both super garlicky what does it matter, really?), for a dinner party, or to soak up the booze from a trip to the pub – and I can attest to the fact it’s quite excellent for that.
Cooking with white wine
Before I say anything more about wine I need to say this – this recipe requires wine. That’s to say, if you don’t drink wine or don’t have any in then I would suggest cooking something else rather than omitting it. Sure, you could make this without it but don’t expect it to taste as good!
Now, onto the wine itself. When cooking with wine you want to use a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio – anything nice and crisp. I’m not much of a wine drinker but I always have a cheap bottle in the fridge for cooking with. If you have a bottle of opened wine in the fridge and it develops an off taste then get rid of it, but I find I can keep a bottle for many weeks and it’s still suitable for cooking with. If, unlike me, you have a taste for wine then get a nice bottle, use a good splash in the sauce and drink the rest.
Making it vegan
This is an easy one to veganize and I can confirm it will still taste delicious! Simply swap out the cream and cheese for vegan alternatives. I actually regularly use Alpro’s plant-based cream myself because I find it keeps for longer. Because I don’t use cream very regularly it’s less wasteful. Particularly at the moment, when smaller quantities of milk and cream seem almost impossible to buy in the supermarket, it’s very useful to have in.
If you’re using a vegan cheese try to find something more akin to a hard cheese or mature cheddar for the best results. You could also skip the cheese entirely and the sauce will still be very tasty!
Cheesy Garlic & White Wine Pasta
- 200 grams linguine or other pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 80 ml single cream
- 50 grams pecorino cheese finely grated
- 1 small handful of parsley finely chopped
- Bring a pot of heavily salted water to the boil and add the linguine.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil followed by the finely chopped onion. Fry until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the cream, pecorino, parsley and salt and pepper to taste (bear in mind that the pasta water is salty so don't add too much salt here!).
- When the pasta is al dente remove from the water and add to the frying pan with the sauce. Add a couple of ladlefuls of pasta water and stir to combine until thickened and the sauce coats the pasta.
- Serve up with additional grated pecorino, parsley and freshly ground black pepper.