Summer to me is lots of fresh herbs. Mint, basil, rosemary, parsley, all of the good things. No matter where. Whether it is in salads, as a garnish, on toast, in drinks, in pesto or in pasta. It is just a sign and part of summer. So fresh, so tasty. But, as good as pesto is, here we are gonna switch things up a little bit and make an extremely easy, 10 minute pasta dish! No, that’s not a typo, it actually only takes 10 minutes (maybe 15 max)!
What does summer mean to you? Laying at the beach, toasting barbecues and summer parties, going for a swim? To me it is lots of sun, good times and fresh food! Definitely! That is why I love herbs so much! I love how they add so much freshness to every single dish you add it in. Also they just add such a nice flavour!
Are herbs healthy?
Definitely! It honestly is very surprising to some! In most kitchens you will find some sort of herbs. Some prefer them in a fresh form to add them to dishes or as a garnish and some have them in their dried form. I personally prefer the dried form for seasoning because they are more intense in flavour but I always have fresh herbs on hand for garnish. Also they make pretty much everything look nice.
Back to the point. Herbs actually are super healthy. Their are extremely high in vitamins, minerals but also fibre. Some even have a decent amount of protein. The great thing about them is that it is so easy to add them to anything to give all of your meals an extra nutrient boost.
How to add more herbs to your diet
This part I believe is really easy. One of my favourite ways is to add it into salads. Like adding a little bit of mint and basil to your salad not only makes a great flavour but also adds a bunch of vitamins. Other ways are to stir is into sauces like into tomato sauce, into stir fries, here cilantro would work amazing, when marinating something or just make pesto out of it. All of these ways are super easy.
Is this sauce like pesto?
No, but also yes. So it is kind of similar but also different. What is pretty much the same is the strong basil flavour. But we are not using parmesan cheese and pine nuts and loads of olive oil. So basil as a base is same. Instead of parmesan cheese we are using feta. If you do not know, feta is a cheese made out of sheep’s milk. It originated in Greece and still is very popular these. It is a firm cheese but has a rather „light“ and fresh taste. So as said, it is a firm cheese but when you blend it up it becomes very creamy.
We still, also use a little bit of olive oil to add some flavour but not as much as in pesto. No nuts in here, which pesto does have. What is „new“ here, which is not usual in pesto is that we add some greek yoghurt. The greek yoghurt adds some creaminess and makes it really good.
How to make the sauce & substitutes
Well, that’s the easiest thing ever. Blend it all up, that’s it. First only the basil, which allows it to become very fine and smooth. Then we add the feta and lastly, some salt, olive oil and greek yoghurt. Also reserve some water from the boiling pasta and add it again when combining the pasta with the sauce. This really is key to making a super creamy sauce and to allow it to combine it well.
If you do not do feta, you can use cream cheese instead. I would recommend using one from goat though, because I believe that the flavour just goes in better harmony with the basil but regular one works too. If you do not have greek yoghurt on hand, you can use some regular yoghurt or half the amount and substitute it for cream cheese.
When to have it & meal prep
I LOVE this as a quick and easy lunch or dinner. It is perfect for a large number of people because it is super easy to make and very versatile. If you want, you can also add some grilled chicken or prawns on top, which also is really tasty.
I would not recommend it for meal prep just because I personally do not like reheated pasta and it only takes very little time anyway. If you do not mind reheated pasta, you can totally meal prep it. Or you just meal prep the sauce, this works really well.
I hope that you like this recipe and enjoy it all throughout summer !
Creamy Basil Feta Pasta
A great summer pasta. Not like your pesto but much better. And easier. 10 minutes, 6 ingredients. Super good.
What you will need
- 500 g spaghetti
- 300 g feta
- 100 g basil about 3-4 large handful
- 100 g greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- some dried tomatoes
Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Before draining the pasta reserve one cup (about 200ml) of the pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking add the basil to a food processor, until it is very finely chopped. Then add the feta and blend again until a creamy consitency is reached. Last add the olive oil, greek yoghurt and a pinch of salt. Add at least half of the reserved pasta water and blend again.
After draining the pasta add it back to the pot along with the sauce. If it still is too thick and does not combine well, add some more pasta water.
Divide onto the plates and garnish with extra feta, dried tomatoes and fresh basil.
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière