I want my pasta to absorb a sauce which consists of herbs and spices only. What are the minimum ingredients that are needed for this? for example do you really need oil, tomatoes, onions or is one of these sufficient?

Would you say using things like tomatoes doesnt let the herbs and spices distribute everywhere in the sauce because the tomatoe is thick and this will be difficult?

Can it be done with oil and spices only or will the spices not melt? Can it be done with onions only?

I think you get the question.

  • butter. no. no. yes but it doesn't work like that. not really. (you have presented a good example of why it's not recommended to ask lots of questions at once) – Joe Jan 15 '19 at 14:21
  • VTC as opinion based. Anyone can make a pasta 'sauce' with any ingredients they choose. – Cindy Jan 16 '19 at 1:30
  • Not to be snarky, but I really don't get what you're asking. It seems really broad. – Erica Jan 16 '19 at 23:57

Spices don't melt. Tomato is not necessary. One could eat plain, cooked pasta (undressed), however, at minimum you probably want a fat to carry the flavor of the herbs, spices, and/or other ingredients, and lubricate the pasta. Pasta with garlic and oil is a simple two ingredient condiment, for example. There are several minimalist condiments in Italian cuisine. I can't think of any off the top of my head that don't start with some type of fat. For your result, I would heat your spices in a bit of oil, add almost cooked pasta with a little cooking water, stir to emulsify, then toss in the herbs.

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  • 3
    Is it really relevant what you're wearing when you eat the pasta? – Lorel C. Jan 16 '19 at 4:23

A fairly common sauce that works well with fresh pasta, and even better with gnocchi, is butter-sage. Contains only butter and sage.

Another simple fragrant alternative is pesto. Store-bought, if what's available in your country is sufficiently good.

Basically, you want the sauce to coat the pasta. So you can't just use dry herbs - you need some medium for them to be in. Said medium can be tomatoes, it can be olive oil or butter, it can be a raw egg yolk (used in carbonara), it can be cream. You always need a fat component, since some of the volatile components of herbs are oil-soluble rather than water-soluble.

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If you make fresh pasta, you can mix your herbs and spices into the dough, then you'll have even distribution of herbs and spices throughout the pasta.

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