Simple Herbed Pasta

Lately I’ve had a love hate relationship with my kitchen. I love how I now have time go to the market and pick up some fresh herbs and a box of pasta to make dinner under an hour. What I hate is this crazy heat. I’m sooo not a summer person. Give me winter, spring, or fall, but keep the summer. Summer to me means my fine curly hair frizzes up like a ragged mop. Summer to me means sticky sweat ringing up my dry clean bill because I can’t wear a shirt more than once. So yeah, keep summer for yourself. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not blind to the pleasures of summer. The beach. The waves. Concerts in the park. All that good stuff is great, but not enough to make me love summer.

To make peace with the summer I always try to find new and simple ways to have a tasty homemade meal that doesn’t have me sweatin in a hot kitchen for long. And that’s when a simple pasta dish comes to mind. And because it’s summer, fresh herbs are plentiful and can help turn a simple dish into a flavorful and fragrant masterpiece.

A bit on herbs, they are the easiest and healthiest way to add flavor to food. I totally urge you to go and try a few and see which ones tickle your taste buds pink. Because fresh herbs are bountiful in flavor they are best when used fresh as opposed to dried herbs which are best for extended cooking like in soups. Some of my favorite fresh herbs are basil, sage, rosemary, and oregano. These all can dress up any dish in an instant. If you’re looking for a quick and easy but FLAVORFUL pasta dish, stop, you have found it! And don’t be afraid to swap out the sage and rosemary for any other fresh herbs.

Pair this pasta dish with some grilled chicken and you have a complete meal!

Herbed Pasta Serves 2

  • Half a pound of whole wheat linguine
  • 1 Cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. of chopped sage
  • 1 Tbs. of chopped rosemary
  • 1 Cup of reserved pasta water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Clean mushrooms with a semi damp paper towel. You basically want to just brush or wipe off any dirt residue. DO NOT run the mushrooms under the water. Mushrooms are like sponges and they will soak up all the water and never brown in your pan. And let’s face it, the best part of mushrooms is when they are wrapped up in browned flavor, not sogginess.
  2. Boil a pot of water for your pasta. Add salt after the water has boiled. TASTE your water! It should taste like the sea but not bitterly salty. Add your pasta and cook al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta water for later use in the sauce. Drain off the rest of the water and set pasta aside.
  3.  While your pasta cooks, heat up a skillet over medium-low heat and add a Tablespoon of olive oil. Then drop in your mushrooms. Give them a quick stir to coat them with the olive oil and let them brown for about 4-5 minutes. Once you see them taking some color, add salt and pepper to your liking. {TIP} Always season your mushrooms with salt AFTER they have browned a bit. Salt draws out water from mushrooms which in turn makes it difficult to brown them. So you want to brown them and then add salt. Once the mushrooms have browned, set them to the side.
  4. Using the same skillet, add the other 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter. Add the garlic and red pepper and sauté on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add back the mushrooms. Stir. Then add your fresh herbs. Stir. Now add your pasta and give it a good stir. Add the reserved pasta water a little a time to create a light sauce. Let the pasta simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve it up and add a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

{Tip} Once you’ve added your garlic, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and herbs you can add a 1/4 cup of white wine. This will totally take the dish up another notch. Or you could add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to add more richness. Or add both!

Bon Appetit!

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