With only three ingredients, Buttermilk Pasta Sauce can easily compete with the most creamy and rich of sauces. All you need is a sauce pan, a whisk, and about ten minutes. This is a great way to use up leftover buttermilk!
BUTTERMILK PASTA SAUCE
You know I love to bake and cook, Dear Reader. Which is why, unlike most homes, we always have buttermilk in our fridge. It’s a great ingredient for my Buttermilk Dill Ranch Pasta Salad, and my Jalapeno Buttermilk Ranch Coleslaw. If you’re more in the mood for something sweet instead of savoury, buttermilk is there for you. Take a look at my Buttermilk Pound Cake and tell me you disagree! This cake is so delicious and so moist!
The day I made this pasta sauce, I was looking for a new and exciting way to use up my leftover buttermilk. I leafed through my cookbooks, scrolled through pinterest, and finally, keyed “what to make with buttermilk” into Google. Finally, I found this recipe from Created by Diane. I tried it and it was delicious!
In Diane’s version, she used chicken flavouring, but I used vegetarian instead. I also wanted my sauce to be much thicker than what Diane has suggested. That’s only because I really wanted the sauce to stick to the pasta. And, lastly, because I love black pepper, I increased that as well. The addition of the parmesan cheese and the torn basil leaves are completely optional.
I mentioned that our fridge always has buttermilk. But, it’s not my fault! The reason is that I always have lots of leftover buttermilk. Memory tells me that I might have mentioned before that buttermilk comes in one size only here in Canada. It’s a one liter carton, which is way more than most recipes need.
We do shop in the United States often enough to know that on that side of the border, buttermilk can be purchased in smaller portions. There’s really no rhyme or reason why the same logic shouldn’t be applied here as well!
I guess it’s not so bad. All of that leftover buttermilk is the perfect reason to make this Buttermilk Pasta Sauce. And, in addition, there’s really nothing wrong with turning it into this Buttermilk Dill Ranch Dressing. We love dips, and this one is one of our personal favourites.
WHAT IS BUTTERMILK?
Buttermilk is the liquid that is left behind after churning butter made from cream. The stuff we buy in the store is not pure buttermilk though. What we buy is cultured buttermilk which has had a bacteria added to it and allowed to ferment.
You’ll note that buttermilk has a slight sour taste and smell – much like sour cream! But, don’t worry; it’s not spoiled and you can consume it safely without getting sick.
Did you know that you can make your own buttermilk at home? Yes! If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own. Just stir one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar into a cup of whole milk. It will not be as thick as store-bought, cultured buttermilk, but it will do the trick! Now, let’s get back to this pasta sauce!
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Buttermilk – You will need two cups of buttermilk. Even though I told you that you can make your own buttermilk at home, store-bought is best for this recipe, because it’s already much thicker than homemade. It cuts down on the amount of time you will need to simmer the sauce to get it to thicken.
- Bouillon Flavour – Bouillon comes in both liquid and powder form. It’s most often used to flavour soups and strews. It is important to pay attention the sodium levels on your bouillon. They tend to be really salty, which means you might not want to add any additional salt. Be sure to taste the sauce before seasoning with salt.
- Cornstarch – This is used to thicken the sauce. Alternatively, you can use arrowroot or potato starch.
- Salt and Pepper – I said three ingredients, because I never include salt and pepper as an ingredient in cooking. Just like I don’t count water as an ingredient. We all have them on hand already, otherwise, we wouldn’t be reading food blogs! Ha. As previously mentioned, be mindful of adding too much salt.
If you are feeling more adventurous, you can add the following ingredients to the pasta sauce as well. In fact, you won’t be adding these to the sauce, you will use these ingredients to finish up the dish.
- Parmesan Cheese – Use finely grated parmesan cheese. You can use as much as you want, but my rule of thumb is that a heaping tablespoon is about right for each person.
- Fresh Basil Leaves – I’m not a huge lover of basil, but it is really good in a basic pasta dish like this. It really adds flavour and colour.
- Dried Red Chili Flakes – There are none on the pasta you see in the photos. That’s because I didn’t serve it up for myself. John.e and McKenna don’t care much for chili flakes, but I love them. I would have sprinkled some liberally into the sauce and over the top of my pasta.
HOW TO PREPARE BUTTERMILK PASTA SAUCE
Preparing Buttermilk Pasta Sauce couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you will need to do step by step. First, add the buttermilk, bouillon powder, cornstarch, and black pepper to a sauce pan. Use a whisk to whisk the powdered ingredients into the buttermilk.
Turn on the heat to medium-high. Whisking frequently, bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk often until the sauce is as thick as you would like it. Taste and add salt if needed. Keep the sauce simmering as you prepare the pasta. Drain the pasta well, plate, and ladle on the sauce. Top with parmesan and torn basil leaves. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Pasta Sauce
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons low sodium vegetable bouillon powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- 450 grams spaghetti
- 1/4 cup parmesan (optional)
- 8-12 whole basil leaves (optional)
- First, add the buttermilk, bouillon powder, cornstarch, and black pepper to a sauce pan. Use a whisk to whisk the powdered ingredients into the buttermilk.
- Turn on the heat to medium-high. Whisking frequently, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk often until the sauce is as thick as you would like it. (Anywhere from 2-6 minutes after the mixture comes to a boil.)
- Taste and add salt if needed.
- Keep the sauce simmering as you prepare the pasta. Drain the pasta well, plate, and ladle on the sauce. Top with parmesan and torn basil leaves. Enjoy!