One of my favorite ways to usher in spring is with herb rolled pasta, which is pasta prepared with fresh herbs. “Lamination” is a term more commonly associated with pastry, which refers to the process of folding butter into layers of dough. Herb rolling is more of a modern technique for making pasta, and you’ll occasionally see it in cracker-type buns as well. Best of all? Not only is this pasta stunning to look at, but it’s also fully customizable to your preferences and much easier to make than it sounds.
When it comes to sauces, I often keep them simple with butter and Parmesan cheese or plain pesto so the herbs take center stage. This time I paired it with a delicate shallot, sparkling white wine, and creamy crème fraîche, which always keeps me coming back for more. Crispy chickpeas are technically a topping for pasta, but they also make the perfect snack for pasta, so you may want to double that part of the recipe. (By the way, this sauce will go great with any long pasta, both fresh and canned).
some notes:- I’ve used a mix of sage, parsley, mint, peeled thyme, and baby basil leaves here (all tough stems cut), but feel free to pick your favorites (dill, marjoram, and edible flowers work too! ). Once cooked, the flavors will be subtle, so just about anything is fine. Skip firmer herbs like rosemary, which could puncture the dough during the rolling process.
– I recommend pasting with small or medium sized herb leaves to prevent the dough from tearing (especially important if you are preparing stuffed pasta using this technique). Large leaves also contain more moisture which can be released during the laminating process – I’ve put basil juice on my face more than a few times.
– Herb rolled pasta can definitely be made by hand, but a pasta machine comes in handy for this recipe. Also, the herbs will stretch as the dough is stretched (see process images for a clearer visual example), so keep in mind that the finished design will be an elongated version of your original.
– I prefer to keep the pasta shape simple (like this pappardelle) to bring out the aromatic herbs, but these sheets can be used to make any favorite egg-based shape, from farfalle to ravioli. -Meryl Feinstein, Pasta Social Club