A Bright Green, Crushed-Herb Pasta for Summer

June  6, 2017

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Green is not my favorite color, but when it comes to pasta it might as well be. I love delicate angel hair pasta sauced liberally with pesto: green! My mother makes fusilli with cream, bacon, Parmesan, and handfuls of still-crunchy steamed broccoli: green! All summer, I twirl spaghetti together with ribbons of zucchini: green!

Photo by Posie Harwood

If I'm feeling adrift and uncreative about dinner, picking the best-looking green ingredient at the market and pairing it with pasta is always a sure thing. Blanched asparagus, sautéed baby spinach, fresh basil, raw snap peas, or cooked kale would all make a perfect meal: Just add pasta, a knob of butter, and a shower of cheese.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Therefore, I felt a rush of certainty when I found this recipe for herb-crushed pasta from De Cecco. This is going to be my spirit pasta, I thought. It didn't disappoint, and it won't let you down.

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It's absolutely gorgeous: flecked with garlicky sautéed herbs and rich with butter. Just before serving, you add a few more fistfuls of chopped fresh herbs to really turn up the green factor. Your kitchen will smell fantastic when you make it, as you'll be chopping fresh rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sage, basil, and parsley together.

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Top Comment:
“Looks fabulous! But a full pound of pasta plus all those veggies should serve 6 - 8, not just 4!”
— Amy K.

Then you sauté half of the herbs with garlic, leaving the other half fresh—and then sort of smoosh them all together. Since half of them are cooked, they become softer and almost paste-like, whereas the rest of the chopped fresh ones stay sturdier.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Wonderful on its own, this pasta would be an excellent base for summer produce. I can imagine topping it with fresh mozzarella and raw cherry tomatoes, or fried zucchini blossoms, or roasted heirloom tomatoes and Parmesan...

Photo by Posie Harwood

This article originally ran in June of 2016.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Caroline Sloat
    Caroline Sloat
  • Laura415
  • Amy K.
    Amy K.
  • Sharon Hanna
    Sharon Hanna
  • Celeste Pennington
    Celeste Pennington
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Caroline S. June 8, 2017
Perfect for the first CSA pick-up of the season--we'll be picking up greens and herbs this weekend.
Laura415 June 18, 2016
Ok that does sound tasty but it only takes less time than pesto if you don't have a food processor or blender. I just made 4 herb pesto today and it literally took less than 5 minutes to blend the 4 unchopped herbs, pine nuts, walnuts and whole cloves of garlic. Add oil while the machine is running. Taste for salt. Add grated hard cheese if using. I used pecorino romano.
Amy K. June 13, 2016
Looks fabulous! But a full pound of pasta plus all those veggies should serve 6 - 8, not just 4!
Author Comment
Posie (. June 13, 2016
agreed: perhaps I should say 4 hungry, tired, summer beach-goers :) 6-8 average dinner guests.
Amy K. June 13, 2016
PHIL June 6, 2017
A lb of pasta barely serves 4 in my house any day of the week.
Amy K. June 6, 2017
Depends, I suppose, on whether the pasta is the main course or a side. I use 2 ounces dry (& yes, I weigh it!) for side dish pasta; maybe 3 - 4 ozs if it's a main. And I always, at home at least, use whole wheat pasta. I save the white refined flour pastas for restaurants that don't offer the whole wheat option.
Sharon H. June 12, 2016
Looks great - trying it tonight! Thank you.
Celeste P. June 12, 2016
Quintessential summer!
A C. June 12, 2016
Try throwing in a bunch of mint.
PHIL June 6, 2016
Looks great Posie. Some many options here. I usually put in some chopped spinach, Parmesan, lemon juice., chopped tomatoes ,maybe a little fresh ricotta with whatever herbs i feel like picking.