White Wine Spaghetti with Bacon and Parmesan

So, after about one million years of cooking pasta in plain old boiling water and tossing sauce on it, I recently discovered that if you take it out of the water a few minutes before it is done and finish cooking it in the sauce, the clouds will part, angels will sing, and you will ascend to new heights of pasta bliss.  So it was just a small step for me to take this to the next step, which was finishing it in a lovely bath of white wine.  And yes, it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be.

Just like with the sauce version, some of the white wine gets absorbed into the pasta as it finishes cooking, which gives it a snap that you can’t quite put your finger on unless you know what went on behind the scenes…it’s rich and a little sharp and just plain delicious.  There’s a teeny bit of cream and a nice big handful of bacon involved as well.  And last but not least, some pretty little shavings of parmesan cheese on top.  I am lucky enough to have a friend who makes regular trips to Italy, and she always brings me back a gorgeous hunk of Parmesan cheese direct from Rome.  I hide it in the deepest recesses of my fridge and use it right down to the rind…and then I drop the rind in whatever soup I have going at the time when (sniffle) the cheese is gone, and it gives it a slightly creamy, cheesy whisper of flavor.

But I digress…back to the pasta!  Begin by cooking up your bacon and starting the wine sauce, and once that is underway it’s time to bring on the pasta.   You start it the usual way in a pot of salted water, and let it go until it just starts to get bendy – about 5 minutes or so.  Now be brave and drain it, because we are going to finish cooking it in that wine sauce, with a little extra wine added for good measure.  Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, you’re going to stir in a little cream and some parmesan, sprinkle the bacon on top, add a little more parmesan that you have shaved with your handy vegetable peeler, and you are ready to roll.

And just for fun, see if your lucky fellow dining companions can figure out the secret ingredient. It’s always good to keep folks on their toes.  :)

Still Hungry?

Ravioli with Tomatoes in White Wine Sauce from Framed Cooks

Pasta with Tuna and Capers in White Wine Sauce from Simply Recipes

Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli from Epicurious


White Wine Spaghetti with Bacon and Parmesan
Serves: 4 servings
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus some extra shaved with a vegetable peeler for garnish
  1. Cook bacon in a large deep skillet until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet. Turn off the heat and let the skillet cool down for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour 1½ cups of wine into the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes - the wine will reduce to about ½ cup. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in salted water until it just starts to become flexible, about 5 minutes. Scoop out a cup of pasta water. Drain and add to skillet.
  4. Add remaining wine to skillet and return to a low boil. Cook the pasta in the wine until it is done to your liking, tossing it frequently with tongs. If the pasta is not done enough by the time all the wine is absorbed, add a little pasta water.
  5. When spaghetti is done, pour in cream and grated cheese and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper and divide among 4 plates. Garnish with bacon and shaved cheese and serve.


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  1. says

    That is a great idea!! I haven’t heard of it before but I will definitely try this the next time that I am making a pasta dish. In fact, I should make this tonight!

  2. says

    Recently I’ve also come across some sources that say you should salt your pasta water so that it tastes like the sea. I’ve been doing it and it really makes the pasta flavor pop! Imagine what a combo of both of these methods would do!

    • Kate says

      I always put LOADS of salt in the water – it makes such a wonderful difference. (That and finishing it in wine!) :)

  3. Jen says

    OMG… that looks delicious!!!!! Lighter than caborna/alfredo….perfect for the summer muggies…. this might just be dinner tonight at our house!

  4. says

    I have a feeling that this delicious dish will become
    A) a go-to recipe for those “what do I make for dinner tonight?” days and
    B) a new comfort food.

    Thank you so much! :)

  5. Rebekah says

    Hi. I tried this last night and my husband love it. However, for those of us novice gourmets who were following the instructions to a tee, please add between step 1 & 2 that you need to remove the skillet w/ bacon grease from the burner, let it cool a bit, turn down the heat, add the wine off burner, then put back on and bring up to simmer. It got a little scary last night (seriously), and I almost found out why we’re required to have renter’s insurance!

    • Kate says

      Oh my goodness! I actually don’t take it off heat to add the wine, but there’s no reason not to, so just in case I will modify the directions…glad everything turned out okay!

  6. Sandy says

    This is absolutely amazing! So easy and simply delicious! What a difference it is,finishing off the pasta in the wine! I could have eaten it all even before adding the cream and parmesan! Thank you! Bellissimo!

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