Garlic butter pasta is one of those classic dishes that works well plain and can also handle a huge variety of creativity. Despite its relative simplicity, it brings extra elegance to the table and can offer a pleasant change from basic spaghetti with canned tomato sauce. If you work quickly and without distractions, you can make this dish in little more than the amount of time it takes you to boil your pasta.

Things You'll Need

Fill a pot with enough water to easily cover the pasta. Place the pot on the stove, add a dash of salt if you wish and bring the water to a boil.

Rub the papery outer layer of skin off the garlic cloves as you wait for the water to boil. Do not worry about removing all the skin at this point; just get the quick, easy outer layer off. Place the cloves of garlic on a cutting board and cut off the bottom end of each one.

Add the pasta to the water when it begins to boil. Cook according to the package directions. Meanwhile, smash each garlic clove with the side of a knife. This separates the garlic from its skin, which you can now easily peel off and discard. Coarsely chop the smashed garlic.

Melt the butter in a large pan. Do this when your pasta has approximately 5 minutes of cooking time remaining, and up to 8 minutes if you wish to add white wine. Add the chopped garlic to the pan and saute over medium heat until it turns golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add the white wine, if desired, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to reduce slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Drain your pasta thoroughly. Add the drained pasta to the pan containing your garlic butter sauce. Stir or toss well to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce, then serve.