This garlic herb butter pasta recipe comes together fast, has simple ingredients, and is great for using up fresh garden herbs.
The fresh herbs really shine in this recipe since we're only using a handful of ingredients. I added some crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little kick, but you can leave them out if you prefer. This dish is perfect for lazy summer evenings.
How to make a herb butter sauce for pasta (overview):
Boil the water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions. When it's just about ready, melt the butter in a skillet, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using), and cook for about a minute. When the pasta's done, reserve some pasta water just prior to draining it. To the skillet, add the drained pasta, chopped fresh herbs, the parmesan cheese, and a splash of the starchy pasta water. Toss (do this quickly) until the cheese has melted and the pasta is nicely coated, adding more pasta water as needed. Season with salt & pepper and enjoy immediately. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- You can definitely mix up the herbs depending on what you've got on hand.
- Use whatever pasta shape you've got in stock/prefer.
- Always grate your own parmesan - the pre-grated stuff won't melt as well (or taste as good). I used my Microplane to grate the cheese for this recipe.
- You can use two spoons or kitchen tongs to toss the pasta when making the sauce.
You may also like...
- Creamy Herb Chicken Recipe
- Garlic and Herb Spreadable Butter
- Quick & Easy Garlic Butter Noodles
- Chimichurri Potato Salad
Questions about this butter and herb pasta recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
Herb Butter Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta I used shells
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons basil chopped/sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons chives chopped finely
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Note: you'll need to use some of the pasta water to make the sauce, so don't drain it until you've reserved some.
- Meanwhile, prep all ingredients, and when the pasta is close to being cooked, add the butter to a skillet over medium heat and let it melt. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and let it cook for about a minute, stirring often so the butter becomes infused with the garlic flavor.
- Just prior to draining the pasta, reserve a half cup or so of the pasta water.
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet as well as the parmesan cheese and the fresh herbs. Pour in a splash (a few tablespoons) of the pasta water. Turn the heat off and toss continuously until the cheese has melted and the pasta is well coated. Continue adding the pasta water as needed (you don't need to use it all up).
- Season generously with salt & pepper and serve immediately with some more parmesan cheese grated over top if you like.
- Serves 2-4 depending on how much people eat/what else it's served with (4 as a side dish).
- Omit the red pepper flakes if you'd prefer it to be mild.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.