Tarragon Pasta

 

Pasta with sauce

Sauced and eat to eat!

Get the recipe here

There are plenty of evenings where you need to whip up something in a hurry.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice flavor for speed.  This is not one of those types of recipes.  This one gives you the best of both worlds – it’s fast as well as delicous.  And did I mention, flexible?  I call it my Tarragon Pasta.

This recipe comes from my college days.  I wanted a dish that I could play with, was cheap, and flavorful.  I also wanted to try something that would let me experiment with herbs, cream, and wine.  The sauce itself is fairly basic – cream, spices, fresh tarragon, and some wine if you have it handy.  Add some pasta, and you have a quick dinner that you will enjoy immensely.  Add some sausage, chicken, or shrimp and you have something to be proud of.  And the basic version is easy to make in less than fifteen minutes.  You can have the sauce ready before your pasta water even comes to a boil if you start them at the same time!

I apologise for the addictiveness of this recipe.  Once you have made it once, you will find yourself craving it again a week or two later.  If you like tarragon at all, or are looking for a chance to try the herb then this is the dish for you.

Variations:

My wife loves this dish with chicken.  When I make that variation, I generally pan sear the chicken and just slice it over the top of the pasta.  I have also cooked the chicken with cajun blackened seasoning with very enjoyable results.  As with all my recipes, I recommend you go with what you like!

Personally, my favorite variation involves using italian sausage.  I take a bit of sweet italian sausage and cook it in a skillet.  Then I remove the sausage from the pan and allow it to drain.  When the tarragon cream is thickened, I add the sausage back into the sauce with some finely chopped spinach and toss everything together.  My children love this version.  They happily devour every bite.  Part of this is my children’s absolute love of sausage.  Also, the tarragon and sausage mask the spinach – a boon to any parent trying to get healthy green veggies into their little one.

At some point, I would love to try this dish with shrimp.  I think I would cook the shrimp in butter with garlic and maybe some parmesan.  Nothing fancy, just delicious.  Then I would put the shrimp over the top of the pasta.

Pasta Choices:

I have made this dish with spaghetti, fettucini, bowties, and ziti.  The sauce is fairly thick and clinging so it will stick nicely to longer noodles.  You could probably get away with using gnocchi as well.  When I make the sausage version mentioned above, I generally go with the bowties.  The kids love them, and we don’t have to slice them into smaller portions for the boys.

Wine and Pairing:

Personally, I like this recipe better with wine.  I like to use it in the dish itself, and I particularly enjoy drinking a glass of wine while I enjoy the pasta.  I recommend a nice Riesling or a Pinot Grigio.