Pasta with Herb Butter Sauce from my Cookbook 'Naturally Vegetarian'
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 50 g (slightly less than half a stick) butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme
1 teaspoon mined marjoram
  • Grated zest of half an organic lemon
320 g (11.5 oz) long fresh pasta (tagliolini, angel hair, tagliatelle)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus coarse salt for the pasta water
  • Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
  1. Dry-toast the pine nuts by tossing them in a hot pan, shaking them very often for a couple minutes. When they start to render the oil and turn slightly brown, they are ready. Set aside.
  2. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add coarse salt.
  3. Melt the butter with the oil in a pan over a medium-low fire, and add the herbs and lemon zest.
  4. Let the butter foam slightly and the herbs release their aroma, about two minutes. When the herbs have sizzled slightly, turn off the fire.
  5. Boil the pasta for the time indicated in the package (or until it floats to the surface if it is fresh pasta). 
Turn on the fire under the pan with the herbs and butter to medium, and drain the pasta into the pan, reserving the pasta water. Add about ¼ cup pasta water, and stir the pasta to form a creamy base with the fat and starchy water. Adjust salt if needed.
  6. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper and che cheese. Serve immediately and garnish each dish with the toasted pine nuts.
  7. You can add more lemon zest if you prefer a stronger lemon flavor.
Recipe by Hortus Natural Cooking by Valentina Solfrini at