Rich flavour packed pasta, glistening with a thin sauce, perfect for serving with grilled meats, roasts and anything breaded and fried. This No Cream Italian Herb Pasta is the perfect last minute side dish. And it comes together in just 10 minutes!!!
Have you ever been so focused on the meat element of your dinner that you forget about a side dish?
You plan for seared steak with red wine butter, get the steak out of the freezer in the morning and make the butter. Then at 6pm you think ‘Eeek, what shall I serve with it’. Does that sound familiar?
Or you have guests coming over for a weeknight meal, you plan something delicious but simple like Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken, Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Grapes, Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic Butter (recipe coming soon) or Lemon Honey Glazed Salmon. But have no idea what to serve as a side, something simple, that doesn’t take much prep!
Step in my No Cream Italian Herb Pasta. It is jam packed with flavour, super easy to make…we are talking 10 minutes here people!!…and goes with pretty much anything.
The sauce is simple and is combined in the time it takes the pasta to cook. Then with a little Italian Nonna magic you have a light silky sauce and a flavour packed side dish. And no cream!!!
I admit, I will happily eat this for lunch on it’s own. Or when Stew is working away I will make a massive bowl, take it to bed and munch my way through it with a chick-flix and a large glass of wine. (Or a big bowl of risotto…because my Stew is anti risotto (crazy man!!))
But as a side it is perfect. Enough flavour for you to enjoy a mouthful or three without the meat, but balanced enough to take the flavours of a main course.
The sauce is a simple mixture of olive oil, stock cube and mixed Italian herbs. Then with some of the pasta cooking water you have a simple sauce which clings to the pasta.
Never ever drain your pasta without taking out a jugful of the pasta cooking water. It is the liquid gold that can turn your pasta from okay to restaurant quality fabulousness. Trust me, I was taught by an Italian! He was insistent, and it was a trick he had learnt from his Nonna. And we know that Nonna’s are never to be questions! Not unless you want a swift clip behind the ears 😉
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No Cream Italian Herb Pasta - last minute side
- 12 oz long pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp dried italian herbs
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
Salt the water generously and then add the pasta.
Stir well and set your timer for 2 minute less than the packet suggests.
Whilst the pasta is cooking add the olive oil and Italian herbs to a small pan and place over a low heat.
Once the oil is shimmering, turn off the heat and crumble in the vegetable stock cubes.
Stir well and leave whilst the pasta finishes cooking.
Use a big jug to remove 2 cups of the pasta cooking water then drain the pasta.
Put the pasta back into the pan.
Tip in the olive oil mixture.
Then use 1 cup of pasta water to rinse the pan out and add this to the pasta.
Place over a medium heat and stir gently.
Add a further 1/4-1/2 cup of the cooking water as needed.
Once the pasta has a thin coating and all the water has been absorbed, check the seasoning and serve.
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