Pasta with Almost Every Herb in the Garden

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I’ve made this sauce in Italy with wild herbs that I gathered in the countryside. I love preparing it with my own fresh herbs. Wild herbs are quite pungent and highly aromatic, and a little goes a long way. When I make this pasta from my garden, I use a wide variety of herbs to create the complex taste and aroma of truly wild herbs and achieve a very successful dish. Feel free to use whatever assortment of herbs appeals to you or is available to you.

4 to 6 servings



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationvegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Textureherby, savory

Type of Dishdry pasta


  • Sea salt
  • 1 pound imported orecchiette or penne rigate
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, torn in half
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh winter savory
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped wild fennel tops
  • Large handful of arugula, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon salt-cured capers or Salt-cured Nasturtium Buds
  • Freshly grated pecorino cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and red pepper and warm over low heat until the garlic is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add all the herbs, the capers, and salt to taste and stir gently. Let the herbs warm over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, at which time the sauce should be quite aromatic.

Drain the pasta and, off the heat, toss with the sauce, adding more olive oil as needed. Serve sprinkled with a few spoonfuls of pecorino.


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