White sauce pasta recipe | how to make Italian restaurant style garlic-flavored pasta in white sauce

White sauce pasta recipe at home with step by step detailed pictures. Making one of the best Italian restaurant style white sauce pasta recipes with a classy flavor of garlic. It is one of the easy recipes of pasta made with boiled pasta cooked in deliciously creamy milk-based white sauce, seasoned with tossed garlic and mixed Italian herbs, and garnished with freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

pasta in white sauce is served in a white bowl

About this pasta recipe

  • Which pasta is best for cooking this pasta recipe – For making this pasta, I used durum wheat penne pasta. Though you can use pasta from any variety like macaroni, farfalle, fusilli, conchiglie, or spaghetti. Even you can use whole wheat penne pasta instead of all-purpose flour pasta. 
  • Different ways of making white sauce aka béchamel sauce – White sauce is made in a traditional way by tossing all-purpose flour in butter and continuously mixing up with chilled milk to make a silky smooth creamy lump-free sauce, flavored with nutmeg powder, and seasoned with salt & white pepper. Though you may replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour too. That does not change the taste for sure. This Italian white sauce is also known as béchamel sauce in France. So if have seen pasta with béchamel sauce on an Italian restaurant’s menu surely go for it as it is none other than white sauce pasta.
  • Best used Italian herbs – Italian recipes are incomplete without herbs and pasta(whether made with white sauce or red sauce) is one of them. So to get an authentic Italian taste, oregano, basil, and parsley are the most common ingredients used in this pasta. Though don’t need to use them separately. You can easily get these three herbs together in a single mixed herbs seasoning container. Comes in different brands, in the Indian market Keya is a popular brand name for this Italian herbs and seasoning. I use this too. 
  • Garlic enhances the taste of pasta– Butter-tossed chopped garlic is used in this recipe as the seasoning of this white sauce pasta to make it scrumptious and flavourful. Basically, in authentic Italian pasta recipes, garlic is directly used for making the white sauce. So you can do the same instead of making this homemade garlic seasoning.
  • Smart Tips to use seasoning– You can use store-bought garlic flakes or store domino’s extra seasoning(which comes with their pizza). That is simply the best idea as the packet contains roasted mixed herbs and garlic seasoning. 
  • Which cheese is best for this pasta – Parmesan cheese is the best cheese used in authentic pasta. Though quite expensive but don’t use mozzarella cheese that is only dedicated to Italian pizza, not pasta. That makes your pasta chewy and sticky at the same time, especially If you serve it cold. Instead of Parmesan cheese, you can use Amul or Go cheese cubes or cheese slices grated or chopping manner
  • Use of veggies & how to use – Here I have not used any veggies except for black olives, but you can add any veggies as per choice. Especially if your kids do not eat vegetables but are fond of pasta and can have any vegetables with it. Then you can use little-boiled corn, fresh capsicum, or carrots(finely chopped) to it. Even boiled and little tossed small broccoli or cauliflower florets too.

The best way to make this pasta healthy

Though you may replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for making the pasta sauce. You can use whole wheat pasta as well. Even you can use low-fat milk or skimmed milk too. Even can replace the butter with margarine.  But what about cheese? Though without butter and cheese, your pasta can not be yummy.  But to make it healthy follow my advice on substitutes, use lots of veggies, and avoid using cheese.

How to make this pasta for school tiffin

Pasta is very popular among kids as my kid is a huge fan of this white sauce pasta. I often prepare this dish at home for his tiffin. It is a very good tiffin idea for school-going kids. Just boiled all the veggies and pasta earlier and make all the seasoning ready(or use ready-made seasonings). Not only for kids but for preparing delicious and quick dinner ideas, pasta works great among all other recipes.

You may check some Italian recipes on my website

Try this creamy white sauce pasta at home that you never tasted before. Please leave your valuable comment in the comment section below.

White sauce pasta recipe | Italian restaurant style garlic flavored paste in white sauce


For boiling pasta

  • 1 cup Penne pasta(macaroni/spagettti)
  • 1/2 tsp Olive oil(or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 cups of Water

For making creamy white sauce

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1+1/2 tbsp Maida or All-purpose flour
  • 1+1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed White pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt(as per taste)

Seasoning ingredients

  • 1 tsp Garlic(finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley(finely chopped if fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Butter

For garnishing 

  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese(grated)
  • 4-5 Black olives(cut into slices)
  • 1/2 tsp Chili flakes

Prep time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Served in: 25 mins

Course:  Dinner

Cuisine: Italian

Servings: 4 people

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make Italian restaurant style garlic-flavored white sauce pasta at home with step by step pictures

Make garlic-Italian herbs seasoning 

For making an authentic Italian-style white sauce pasta recipe, this garlic-Italian herbs seasoning is one of the very important ingredients.

  •  Heat a pan, keep the flame at low and add 1/2 tsp butter to it.
  • Then add 1 tsp finely chopped garlic to it and stir it until it gets light golden brown color.

garlic in butter for making the seasoning of this italian style white sauce pasta recipe

  • Next add 1/2 tsp parsley (finely chopped if fresh), 1/2 tsp oregano, and 1/2 tsp basil to it. Or you can use 1+1/2 tsp dry mixed herbs.

adding chopped parsley, dry basil and oregano to the pan for making pasta seasoning

  • Then fry it until the garlic gets a nice golden brown color and gets crisp along with the herbs. As shown in the pic.

pasta seasoning is ready

  • Lastly, remove it from the pan and keep it aside. Even you can crush the seasoning before adding it to the pasta.

Boil the pasta

  • First, take a pan with 3 cups of water((≈ 710 ml) and place it on a high flame.

adding salt and oil to the water

  • Then add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp oil(any vegetable oil/olive oil) to the water and bring it to a boil. 

adding penne pasta to the boiling water

  • Once the water starts boiling, add 1 cup of pasta(penne/ macaroni/any pasta)to it. 
  • Cook al dente(means perfectly boiled but still firm not too soft).
  • Stir it occasionally till 5 minutes, after 5 mins, check whether the pasta is perfectly boiled or not.
  • Then remove one pasta from the pan and cut it with a spoon or fork. Means it’s cooked al dente, perfectly boiled but needs to be cut or bitten.

check al dente pasta with a fork

  • For me, it takes about 10 mins to cook. Boil it until you can easily cut the pasta as shown in the pic.
  • Then immediately remove it from the heat and strain the water from it. As shown in the pic.

boiled al dente pasta is ready

Making creamy white sauce(béchamel sauce) 

  • Take a pan, place it on low flame, add 2 tbsp butter to it, and let the butter melt.
  • When butter completely melts down, add 1+1/2 tbsp maida or all-purpose flour to it.
  • Then stir it continuously so that no single lump can’t be formed. Stir it until the butter-flour mix gets a light golden brown color.

adding flour to the butter and stirring it continuously to make it lump free

  • Now add 1/2 cup(≈119 ml) of cold milk(cold milk prevents it from making a lump) to it.
  • Stir it continuously to make the sauce lump free. Even you can use a whisker to stir it in a better way.

add milk to the butter-flour mix

  • The milk should be nicely mixed with the butter-flour mix without making a single lump.
  • Then gradually add the rest of 1 cup of milk(≈237 ml) into two batches. The addition of milk in 2-3 batches will help to make a smooth, creamy, lump-free white sauce.

adding nutmeg powder and crushed white pepper to the white sauce

  • Then add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder, and  1/2 tsp crushed white pepper(can use black pepper too) to it. Mix it nicely.

checking the consistency of the white sauce

  • Creamy lump-free white sauce is ready to prepare pasta. This sauce will be a little thick as shown in the pic. 

How to cook pasta in white sauce

  • Once the white sauce is ready, add the boiled pasta to it and mix it nicely.

pasta is cooked in white sauce

  • Now add the garlic-Italian herbs seasoning from the top and mix it nicely with the pasta.

after adding the seasoning to the pasta

  • Then add 4-5 sliced black olives and lastly add 1/2 tsp of chili flakes(optional) to it, mix it nicely.

after adding black olives and chilli flakes

  • Now, cook it for 2-3 mins on a low flame and switch off the flame.

 pasta is ready to serve

  • Then immediately add 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese(optional). Stir it once to mix it.

 white sauce pasta garnished with parmesan cheese

  • Now, Italian restaurant style garlic-flavored white sauce pasta is ready. Serve it hot and relish it with a drink.

Important tips about this recipe

  • Pasta cooking tips– You can use any type of pasta, but remember to cook it al dente(perfectly cooked but remains firm, need to bite with your teeth). Means don’t make it too soft that pasta started broken after boiling. So that while you toss the pasta in the sauce, it might get broken into pieces or mashed in the sauce gravy. 
  • Milk-related tips- Always use cold milk. Use cold milk or the milk straight from the refrigerator to prevent forming lumps. After adding cold milk quick stir or whisk is essential to prevent forming lumps. Hot milk or milk at room temperature can create a lump, if adding hot milk, continuous stirring can only make a silky smooth white sauce. 
  • Do not make the sauce thick– Don’t allow the white sauce to be thicker, that might get it dry and sticky.
  • Don’t add cheese if eat it cold – Don’t use cheese if you pack it as a kids’ tiffin. As the cheese will make it dry and sticky when it releases the heat.
  • Mayonnaise makes the sauce tasty– You can use 2 tbsp mayonnaise while making the white sauce to enhance the taste of pasta.
  • Fresh cream makes it creamy– Fresh cream is not required if using both milk and mayonnaise. However, you can use 2-3 tbsp fresh cream to make it more creamy but make it sweeter as well. 
  • For chicken add-onBoiled chicken cubes or shredded chicken(≈ 100g) can be added for 2 mins cooking in the white sauce before adding pasta. Even before adding in sauce, chicken(boiled) can be tossed for 1-2 mins in 3 tsp butter with 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper & 3/4 tsp chili flakes
  • For prawn add-on – Toss the prawn(≈100g) in 3 tsp butter with 1/2 tsp little salt & 1 tsp pepper, cook it for 2 mins in white sauce, then add the pasta to the sauce.

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