Pasta with Herb Sauce

These days I seem to have a preference for anything but tomato sauce in my pasta, because I got tired of the heavy acidic flavor it imparts. An oil-based sauce might be less interesting nutritionally, but it is more delicate, and does not hide flavours. This is a simple starter recipe, with which to build a base around. No meal is complete with just herbs and pasta (not even if its pesto!), so the addition of vegetables or other is essential.


1 1/2 T dried herbs and/or dehydrated vegetables (small pieces) and/or small or chopped nuts (for every 1/2 lb. pasta)
olive oil


Dried herb and/or vegetable and/or nut mix can be used in a variety of ways, not just for pasta. Try a mix with risotto, or one with eggs, to make an omelette. Different herb mixes can be used for different dishes. The basic idea is the herbs or vegetables are dried, and in very small pieces. Here's some suggestions below.

Dried Herb Mixes

Pasta: Dried basil, oregano, italian herbs, pine nuts, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, dehydrated vegetables (carrot, onion, garlic), dried chili peppers (very small pieces), fresh garlic, fresh shallots, olives, capers, anchovies, finely chopped dried seaweed. (etc.)

Instructions: Cook the pasta (suggestions: penne, pennete, rigatoni, fusili, etc). While that's cooking, creating the sauce is easy. Heat the dried herbs (etc.) in a small skillet on low heat in 6 T(ablespoons) of olive oil, mixed with 5T of the cooking water from the pasta. Once the ingredients are softened and the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened, season with enough salt and pepper for the quantity of pasta, and you're done. Pour the result onto 1/2lb. of drained pasta, in the pot you cooked it in. (Use a spatula or use some of the pasta which you did not pour sauce on, to pick up the remainder of the sauce in the skillet).

Add cooked (e.g. roasted) vegetables or meat to balance out the dish.

Risotto: Dried herbs might include: mushrooms, marjoram, chive, parsley, sage, carrot, celery, garlic powder, salt. (etc.)

Instructions: Add 200g-250g arborio rice to a skillet on med. heat, with 1 1/2T risotto herb mix, and 6T olive oil. Stir and toast the rice slightly. Add 3T water or (dry white wine, if you wanna fancy it up). Cook until that evaporates. Finally, finish the process by adding hot chicken stock in small quantities each time, allow the liquid to evaporate, as the rice slowly cooks. When the rice is al denté, add some butter and grated Parmesan cheese to the dish, serve.

Omelette: Dehydrated red/green peper, chives, thyme, parsley, marjoram, salt. (etc.)

Instructions: Add 1 - 1 1/2T dried herb mix to 2-3 eggs in a bowl. Beat with fork, let rest for a bit, and fry the eggs in a med. skillet coated with extra virgin olive oil.

Yield: 2


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