Pasta with Herbs and Cream

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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