Herby Garlic Pasta Recipe: How to Use up Leftover Greens

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas)

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas),
Jerome Jocson (@emowredge)

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas)

This easy herby garlic pasta recipe needs little effort to put together. It’s a great back-pocket recipe for when you’re too lazy to make an elaborate lunch (or if you don’t have a lot of ingredients left in your pantry), but still want something filling and tasty.

We used a mix of arugula and basil for our herby garlic pasta. But you can really use whatever you have on-hand. There’s no pesto-making here; just some rough chopping and throwing everything together. Still, the result is a pasta dish packed with a lot of freshness and flavor.

Herby Garlic Pasta Recipe



Serving Size

4 people

Active Time

20 mins

Total Time

20 mins

  • 250 g spaghetti, uncooked
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup fresh herbs
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions for Herby Garlic Pasta

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and cook until golden and soft, stirring often, and pressing down on cloves so they make good contact with the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add red pepper flakes and cook another minute to let the flavors infuse.
  5. Transfer pasta to pot with sauce and add butter and ½ cup pasta water.
  6. Cook, tossing often until each strand of pasta is coated and pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes. Add more pasta water if needed.
  7. Remove pasta from heat and toss in herbs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Serve with a little more drizzle of oil.

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