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Pasta with Herbs and Cream

Pasta with Herbs 1

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio, or pasta cooked with olive oil and garlic, is one the simplest, and much loved basics in Italian cookery. I make it quite often and, as others do, I frequently add a little parsley and then round out the oil with a bit of butter as well. Today’s dish is a slightly more upscale, yet still rustic, offshoot of the original and not only includes some additional herbs, but is enhanced with a small amount of cream towards the end of the cooking process…

The Ingredients

  • 2 small portions of Spaghetti (or other pasta);
  • 1/3 cup very thinly sliced scallion (green part only);
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Garlic;
  • 2 tbsp. shredded fresh Sage;
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Thyme leaves;
  • ½ tsp. freshly crushed Black Pepper;
  • 1 pinch Salt;
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil;
  • 3 tbsp. Butter;
  • ¼ cup cooking Cream;
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese.

Pasta with Herbs 2

Here are the herbs I have used. You can alter the amounts to your taste or vary with other additions. I was wondering what a little fresh Rosemary might be like as well but I could find none available.

Pasta with Herbs 3

Cook the pasta in boiling water and, a few minutes before it becomes al dente, heat the oil and butter in a small pan over moderate heat. Saute the garlic until soft and add the herbs, pepper and salt.

Pasta with Herbs 4

Drain the past and add to the pan, stirring to lightly ‘fry’ it and allow it to absorb and become coated with the flavored oil and butter.

Pasta with Herbs 5

Finally, add the cream and continue to cook until it is mostly absorbed. Plate the portions, garnishing with a little chopped tomato, if you like, and pass the cheese at the table.

NOTES

I made this dish with a view to it being a small appetizer before the main course or as a side-dish, rather than as a main course itself. I had one portion by itself to test and later ate the rest as a side with some roasted turkey wings. When freshly cooked and served immediately, the result was lovely. I found, however, it didn’t do well re-heated, although it still wasn’t bad. I’ll cook it again, but I may omit Thyme in future versions and replace it, possibly with a little Rosemary, and also some fresh flat-leafed parsley.

 

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