Top | Deborah Madison
Spaghettini with Handfuls of Herbs
(recipe, Deborah Madison)
You'll need a cup of herbs in total, but feel free to vary it by what you like and what's available.
- 6 long marjoram branches
- 12 branches thyme or lemon thyme, or a mixture
- 12 large parsley branches
- A few tablespoons' equivalent of dill fronds
- 8 sorrel leaves or slivers of lemon zest
- 3 lovage leaves
- 4 tarragon or anise hyssop branches
- 2 small shallots or 1 small fresh onion, finely diced
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs, moistened with 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and chile-pepper flakes
- 12 oz. spaghettini or linguine
- Run your fingers down the branches of the herbs to remove the leaves. If there are any flowers, set them aside for a garnish. Cut off the sorrel stems and slice the leaves in narrow ribbons. Chop the rest of the herbs fairly finely, but leave some texture. Put the herbs and shallots into a bowl with the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When the water boils, salt to taste and add the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, fry the breadcrumbs until golden and crisp, and season them with salt and pepper and a few pinches of chile-pepper flakes.
- When the pasta is ready, scoop it out of the pot and add it to the bowl with the herbs, oil, and butter. Season generously with pepper and toss well.
- Serve immediately, with the breadcrumbs strewn over the top; garnish with herb blossoms if there are any.