Ready to impress your guests with a pasta dish that’s anything but ordinary? Then ditch the dry, store-bought spaghetti and use fresh pasta sheets, store bought or homemade.
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- fresh pasta sheets
- 1/2 cup
- (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
Lay one sheet of pasta flat on your work surface. Place the basil leaves on the dough, spacing them apart so they do not touch. Very lightly mist the edges of the sheet of pasta with water and then carefully lay a second sheet of pasta dough on top of the basil leaves, enclosing them between the two sheets of dough. Using a rolling pin, lightly roll the two sheets together so that they stick.
Turn the stand mixer speed to level 2. Pass the pasta sheet through the rollers on setting 3 to firmly seal the two sheets together. Repeat the layering and rolling process with the remaining sheets of dough. (Note: The basil leaves should be as dry as possible. If they are slightly wet, some liquid may squeeze out during the final pass through the rollers.) If you do not have a pasta maker, use a rolling pin to roll out sheets.
Using a sharp knife, cut the sheets into thick noodles or any other desired shape by cutting around and not through the basil leaves. (It's important to not cut through the basil leaves, as doing so will cause the two sheets of pasta to separate while boiling.) Place the cut pasta on a lightly floured baking sheet and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water in batches, cooking just until al dente, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta then transfer it to a large serving bowl.
Make the garlic brown butter:
Combine the butter and garlic in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the butter until it melts, the foam subsides and it begins to turn a golden brown color, 3 to 5 minutes. (Note: The butter will begin to smell slightly nutty as it browns and the garlic will be golden.)
Remove the garlic brown butter sauce from the heat and stir in the pepper.
Add the halved tomatoes to the bowl with the pasta then pour the brown butter sauce over the pasta, lightly tossing until the noodles are thoroughly coated. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Small basil leaves work best for this recipe, as it's easier to cut around them to ensure the sheets of pasta stick together while they boil.