You don’t need much to make a great pasta dish.  Frankly, it’s amazing that with just 4 – 5 ingredients, you can create a flavorful, filling, interesting and easy dinner…that’s the magic of pasta.  In this recipe video, I’m going to show you how to make one of those dishes, Fettucini with Basil and Garlic.  It’s a take on another “platform“ recipe, Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic, obviously with the addition of basil…and I through in a few sundried tomatoes, as tomatoes and basil just go so well together.  It’s really nice to have a few of these types of dishes, right in your back pocket, and then it’s easy to look like an all-star in the kitchen, with about 20 minutes worth of work.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Fettucini with Basil and Garlic, just make sure you do the following:

  1. When comes to cooking the pasta, the only way to tell doneness is to taste, so start checking it a couple minutes before the package suggests.  Then take it out of the water, a good minute before it’s ready, as we’re going to finish cooking in the pan with the basil/garlic
  2. Use good quality ingredients, in the right ratios.  In simple dishes, quality of ingredients is critical as each plays a major role.  They also need to be in balance.  You may prefer different amounts than I use, but no one ingredient should over power the others…again the only way to tell is taste
  3. Add the basil and garlic as the last minute.  Neither take much time to cook, and the garlic may burn…so just a minute at the end will be fine.
  4. Finally, don’t forget to season….taste…and re-season.  Again, simple dishes need to be in balance and that includes salt and pepper…don’t forget it.

Ingredients for Fettucini with Basil & Garlic (for two)

  • Third pound fettucini pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Good extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Tablespoon of butter
  • Lemon

Making the Fettucini

  • Bring a pot of boiling water to the boil, and salt the water for the fettuccini
  • Crush the garlic cloves with the side of your knife, add the basil leaves and a bit of salt, and chop them together until both are finely minced together
  • Drop the pasta into the boiling water; and stir every few minutes until just al dente
  • When the pasta has 3 – 4 minutes left, add about tablespoon of olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat, along with the sundried tomatoes and the red pepper flakes
  • One the pasta is just al dente, drain it thoroughly, and add it to the sauté pan with another glug of olive oil
  • Turn the heat up to high
  • Season with salt and pepper, and add the minced basil and garlic
  • Toss everything together for a minute or two, turn the heat down & add a squeeze of lemon juice, butter, and the parmesan cheese
  • Toss again, and taste the fettucini
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve it up

Serve this fettucini piled up high in a pasta bowl and enjoy!

Wine Recommendation: I like a full bodied white wine with this fettuccini with garlic and basic, and something a bit more on the oaky/spicy side that will help enhance the “herbiness” of the basil.  Go for a new world Chardonnay, maybe from California and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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