Almost too beautiful to eat...almost! Tender ribbons of homemade egg pasta laced with bursts of fresh basil pasta right in the dough! Making this stunning herb-filled pasta dough is easier than you think and tastes restaurant-quality in a simple garlic brown butter sauce.
Are your herb gardens kicking into high gear yet? The basil is going strong here and it's the perfect time to pick those fragrant leaves of natural goodness and layer it into bites of tender homemade pasta. Best of all, it's really just as simple as making homemade pasta but with one quick extra step.
And because you worked hard restraining yourself from just cutting and making regular pasta, we're going to give this basil pasta it's due appreciation by tossing it with a flavorful, rich, and mostly colorless sauce so it's natural beauty can shine.
It's kind of like if sauces were 'looks' ya know? How sometimes its fun to get all glammed up with all the makeup and the blowout and the fancy outfit (looking at you lasagna bolognese) and sometimes you just throw on a little moisturizer and maybe a swipe of mascara or lip tint. That's this pasta. Effortless natural beautiful deliciousness.
How to make homemade basil pasta
If you've made homemade pasta before, you're going to breeze right through this recipe. If you haven't, I'd definitely recommend heading over to this post on how to make homemade pasta. It's full of tips, tricks, and different methods for making pasta.
The method for this pasta is the same, except when it gets to the part where you have your sheets of pasta after rolling them out.
You're going to lightly spray or brush one sheet of pasta with water, just enough to get it tacky. Then layer with fresh basil (or any other herb you want) and cover with the other sheet of pasta. Then you roll it through until it's your desired thickness - about ⅛ of an inch.
See? Super simple, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Leave space between the basil leaves so the two pasta sheets can stick to each other.
- For this pasta, I'd recommend using a pasta roller - either the KitchenAid attachment or a separate countertop one. Rolling the sheets by hand will be difficult to get all the air out.
- You'll need to decrease the roller setting after prepping the two sheets of pasta with the basil, then just roll it through increasing the setting until you get the thickness you want.
- The final pasta sheets can be used for stuffed pasta or cut into long pasta shapes.
Garlic Brown Butter Sauce
This pasta is great for any type of sauce...fra diavolo, bolognese, cream sauce....really the options are super flexible. Brown butter is currently my butter obsession. I'm putting it wherever possible and because these basil leaves are so vibrant and pretty in the handmade noodles, garlic brown butter is the tastiest way to show them off.
And also show off the mastery skill of this almost 5-year-olds cheese sprinkling skills (see below.)
TIPS FOR MAKING BROWN BUTTER
Minimal ingredients, just a few tricks to get it right the first time.
- Use a light-colored pan so you can accurately judge the color of the butter as it cooks. I love my Le Creuset braiser (aff link) in white, but stainless steel is a great option too!
- If your heat is too high, it’s way too easy to burn. The best bet is to cook over medium to medium-low heat. If you feel like things are browning too quickly, you can add a few splashed of pasta water to the sauce to slow down the cooking.
- Cut the butter into smaller, uniform pieces. I know it’s tempting to throw that whole stick in the pan, but cutting it into even pieces will allow all the butter to cook at the same temperature.
- You’ve got to move it, move it. (Sorry, we just watched Madagascar.) But no, really, you need to stir this sauce as it cooks. Mostly so you can see the color of the butter, but also to keep any fats from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When you’re done, BE DONE. Remove the pan from the burner because those suckers are still hot even after you turn it off. If your pasta isn’t done cooking yet, you might want to consider moving the sauce to another pan or container so it doesn’t continue to cook (and burn!) in the pan.
Need more ways to use up that basil? Consider some fruity twists on pesto like Meyer lemon and grapefruit. If you're in the mood to satisfy that sweet tooth, try mixing it into a pie crust or adding it to a summery cocktail!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating below! Don't forget to post a pic with the pin on Pinterest so others can drool over your tasty eats!
Homemade Basil Pasta with Garlic Brown Butter
For the pasta:
- 2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups 00 flour or all-purpose flour (see instructions)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves (whole)
- additional flour for rolling
For the sauce:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 large clove garlic (finely minced)
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ cup reserved hot pasta water optional
- Make the dough. On a flat surface, place 2 ½ cups flour in a mound. Create a well in the center of the dough for the eggs, about 5 inches wide.
- Add the eggs to the well and pierce each yolk with a fork. Start whisking the eggs with the fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Once the yolks are thickened, add more and more flour. If the well starts to crack while whisking in the eggs just push it back together. If the well breaks completely, just quickly add the flour into the eggs and start working the dough with your hands.
- Once a ‘shaggy dough’ starts to form, stop using the fork and start working the dough into a ball using your hands. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Wrap with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough. Unwrap the dough and cut into 4 equal pieces. Keep any pasta you are not working with covered with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap to prevent the dough from drying out. Flatten one piece of the pasta dough into a disk that’s thinner along the edge and slightly thicker in the center. Dust the roller with flour and feed the dough through on the widest setting. Fold the dough into thirds and repeat. Feeding the dough into the roller 2 to 3 times per setting, rotating which side of the dough you start with until the dough is ⅛ inch thick. Dust the pasta sheet with flour or semolina and cut into (2) 10 to 12-inch sheets.
- Laminating the pasta sheets. Spray or lightly brush one pasta sheet with water. Layer the whole basil leaves all over the pasta sheet, leaving space between each leaf. Layer with the remaining pasta sheet and press down slightly with your hands or a rolling pin to stick the two sheets together. Adjust the pasta rolling attachment to a medium setting and roll the basil laminated pasta sheet through, increasing the setting until all the air bubbles have been pressed out of the pasta and your desired thickness is achieved.
- If using for stuffed pastas, cover the basil pasta sheets with a towel until you finish the other 3 pieces of dough. Or cut the pasta into linguine, tagliatelle, etc. and drape the cut pasta over a drying rack. Dry for 30 minutes before storing. Repeat the process until all the pasta is cut.
For the sauce:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, make your sauce.
- Cut the butter into small, uniform pieces. Heat a stainless steel or light-colored pan over medium heat. Melt the ½ cup butter, stirring very often. The milk fats in the butter will begin to darken (about 3 to 5 minutes).
- As the butter cooks it will start to foam (about 2 to 3 minutes), use a spatula or wooden spoon to drag through the butter to check the color. When the butter foams, add the garlic, it may pop a little if there is any moisture. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds or just before it starts to brown.
- Stir in ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon salt. Remove from the heat.
- Cook the pasta about 5 minutes or until it is 'al dente' and starts to float near the top of the pan. Before draining remove ½ cup of starchy pasta water and set aside. Add the cooked pasta and 2 teaspoons vinegar to the garlic brown butter and toss with ¼ cup parmesan cheese. The cooked pasta absorbs a bit of the brown butter sauce, if you’d like it a bit more saucy add some starchy pasta water a little at a time until it’s a consistency you like.
- Serve immediately and top with fresh cracked pepper and an extra sprinkle parmesan cheese.
Pasta making notes:
- 00 flour is more finely milled and preferred for pasta making, but all-purpose flour will work great as well
- The dough may seem too dry at first, just keep kneading it and the moisture will continue to spread. If the dough still seems too dry after a bit of kneading, add a little water or olive oil and continue to knead it. If the dough is constantly sticking to your hands during kneading, even after flooring your hands and surface try kneading a little more flour into the dough 1 tablespoon at a time.
- If you’ve never made homemade pasta before, I’d highly highly recommend reading through this post for all the tips, tricks and troubleshooting steps.
Tips for making brown butter sauce:
- Use a light-colored pan so you can accurately judge the color of the butter as it cooks.
- Cook over medium to medium-low heat. If you feel like things are browning too quickly, you can add a few splashed of pasta water to the sauce to slow down the cooking.
- Cut the butter into smaller, uniform pieces to allow all the butter to cook at the same temperature.
- You need to stir this sauce as it cooks so you can see the color of the butter, and to keep any fats from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When you’re done, BE DONE. Remove the pan from the burner. If your pasta isn’t done cooking yet, you might want to consider moving the sauce to another pan or container so it doesn’t continue to cook (and burn!) in the pan.