Pasta Side Dish: Parmesan and Garlic Farfalle



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This Parmesan and Garlic Farfalle is full of flavor and easy to make! No need to buy pasta sides from the grocery store when you can easily make flavorful pasta sides at home.

If you take a look around CenterCutCook, you will notice a few favorites like Roasted Garlic Parmesan Broccoli or Roasted Cauliflower “Popcorn” but the truth is, I don’t tend to get very creative with side dishes when I cook. We’ll have a side salad, or some steamed veggies tossed in a little olive oil. This easy pasta side dish comes together quickly and has such amazing flavor that your whole family will love.

Parmesan and Garlic Farfalle on a plate

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I don’t know about you, but I have bought my fair share of pasta pouches from the grocery store. I won’t name brands, but there’s a broccoli and cheddar version that I’ve made too many times to count. While there is a convenience to making pasta sides that come in a pouch, it is really pretty easy to make your own at home!

This garlic parmesan pasta recipe comes together quickly and is full of deep flavor thanks to onions, garlic, parmesan cheese, and the combination of dry white wine and chicken stock. Skip the extra preservatives and additives of the instant pouch from the store, and make this simple recipe instead.

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Pasta Side Dish Ingredients

Simple ingredients combine in this easy pasta side dish. For the full list of ingredients and their measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Farfalle: Also known as bowtie pasta, any other medium-sized pasta would work in this recipe.
  • Onion: Dice the onion into small pieces. Sautéing it is the base of the sauce and adds such a great flavor.
  • Garlic: As with any recipe that calls for garlic, it adds the perfect flavor to this pasta side dish.
  • Seasonings: Rather than using a packet of seasoning like in the pasta pouch, we combine basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and cloves to create our own seasoning blend. If you don’t want any heat, leave out the red pepper flakes.
  • White wine: I am not a wine drinker, so I don’t usually keep wine on hand. My grocery store sells these little 1-cup bottles that work perfectly for cooking that I keep in my pantry. I share more about what white wine is best for cooking below.
  • Chicken broth: Creates the sauce while adding a subtle savory flavor. If you want to make this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth.
  • Parmesan cheese: You will want to use freshly shredded parmesan cheese. For best results, shred it yourself from a block.

How to Make Parmesan and Garlic Farfalle

This garlic butter parmesan pasta is made in under 30 minutes. Here is a brief overview of how it comes together on your stovetop. For the full recipe including all measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Cook the pasta. Follow the package directions to cook your farfalle noodles, drain, and set aside. See my tips below for making pasta perfectly every time.
  2. Sauté the garlic and onion. Heat olive oil in a pan and add in the onion. Once the onion is translucent, you’ll add in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, only a minute or two. At this point, I also added in a little red pepper flake for some heat.
  3. Make the sauce. Add in a little butter, some white wine, and chicken stock or broth. Then bring it to a rolling boil and add a few more spices. At this point, the sauce will reduce and the flavors will intensify.
  4. Put it together. Right before it’s done, stir in the parmesan cheese. Toss the pasta with this delicious sauce and enjoy!

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Cooking Pasta

Cooking pasta for any recipe is a simple step, but a few key things are important to keep in mind to have it turn out perfectly every time.

  • Use plenty of water. You need more water than just enough to cover the pasta in the pot. A pound of pasta needs 4-6 quarts of water since it expands as it cooks. Add a teaspoon or two of salt to the water to add some additional flavor to the pasta.
  • Bring it to a roaring boil. You want to see large, constant bubbles in your pot before you the dry noodles.
  • Set a timer. As soon as you add the dry pasta, set a timer according to the package directions so you can drain your pasta when it is al dente.

Cooking With Wine

Anytime you are cooking with wine, the flavor will be magnified as it cooks. So while you don’t need an expensive bottle of wine, you want to choose a white wine on the dryer side. Pinot grigio or savonblanc would work well. I shared my hack with you above about buying a pack of small bottles of wine and keeping them in your pantry for when you want to make this recipe. I recommend that you do not use cooking wine as the flavor isn’t as good as drinking wine.

If you don’t want to use wine in this recipe or are cooking for someone who can’t have wine, you can replace the wine with more chicken stock. The taste of the finished recipe will be slightly different, but will still be delicious.


I topped the easy bowtie pasta recipe with a little more parmesan cheese and it was just perfect as a side dish! You will get about four side servings from this recipe. It can be served alongside so many different main entrees. I just love versatile, easy side dishes, don’t you? This was tasty enough that I could see myself tossing in some additional things to the parmesan garlic noodles and making a meal out of it.

  • Sautéed veggies such as spinach, asparagus, or broccoli.
  • Protein like cooked chicken or shrimp.

Storing Leftovers

Store any leftover farfalle pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add a splash of chicken stock if it appears dry.

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Other Easy Pasta Recipes

If you are looking for other easy pasta recipes like these parmesan garlic noodles, here are a few dinner repeats at my house.

If you make this parmesan and garlic farfalle recipe or any of my other recipes, please let me know by leaving a comment!

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5 from 1 vote

Pasta Side Dish: Parmesan and Garlic Farfalle

No need to buy pasta sides from the grocery store when you can easily make flavorful pasta sides at home! This Parmesan and Garlic Farfalle is full of flavor and easy to make!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked farfalle or other pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh finely grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add in onions and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Add in garlic and red pepper flake (if you want a bit of heat), and cook a minute or two longer.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons butter, dry white wine, and chicken broth. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and add in dried basil and parsley. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces down quite a bit. Stir frequently.
  • Add in parmesan cheese. When the cheese has melted, toss the cooked farfalle with the sauce. Garnish with a little more parmesan cheese and serve as a side dish.
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Pasta Side Dish

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Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!