I want to introduce you to a delicious pasta dish that you can make in just a few minutes using the herbs in your garden, or that you pick up in the market or supermarket. It’s very light and fresh, perfect for those sunny days when you don’t want to eat anything too heavy. There is nothing to cook, apart from the spaghetti of course, so I can promise success to even for the most inexperienced cooks.
Years ago, before moving to England and having our children, my husband (my boyfriend at that time) and I spent a whole romantic summer in the wildness of the lovely Majella mountains in Central Italy. We were in the middle of nowhere, without television, internet, phones, surrounded by the astonishing beauty of nature. There were many herbs around our house, so one day we dressed our spaghetti with a pesto of wild herbs, simply adding some garlic and olive oil. The ‘no cook spaghetti’ was born! Now every time we make this recipe, it takes us back, through our taste buds, to those beautiful days in the mountains. Lovely memories!
Ingredients for 4 people
- 320 g spaghetti
- any fresh herbs
- 1 garlic clove
- Extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- fresh red chilli (optional)
Simply choose some fresh herbs from your garden or market – any herb will work. I have chosen rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, basil, chive and parsley.
Chop the herbs and garlic very finely.
In a bowl make the pesto by adding the chopped herbs with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil (a good oil is essential for this recipe), salt and pepper. You can also add some red chilli, which gives the dish some heat and makes it more colourful.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water. Don’t overcook the pasta, follow the pack instructions for cooking ‘al dente’. When ready, drain the pasta saving some cooking water. Add the pesto to the pasta, with 3/4 tbsp reserved water (add a bit more water if the pasta looks too dry). Mix well and serve immediately.
‘Aromatic herbs have a strong olfactory and taste impact and so this dish already has a structured and clear aroma. I recommend pairing it with a white, fresh but dry wine that does not disguise but enhances the aroma of the herbs. Liguria’s VERMENTINO has a delicate, not highly alcoholic, fruity flavour. It is easy to buy abroad and reasonably priced (from 6/8 Eur) but with the right structure to sit well with these kinds of dishes. It is a young, clear wine with greenish reflections, from the 2018-2019 vintage – perfect for this recipe.’