We started the summer strong in the Netherlands with a few warm weeks when all the parks and terraces in Amsterdam were full of happy (newly un-isolated) people.
But a few weeks ago the weather took a turn for the worst. It’s been typical Dutch summer ever since – the temperatures hovering between 16 – 19 degrees C (60 – 66 F for my American friends), sometimes peaking above 20 C / 68 F though with the cloud cover and wind, truly summer-like weather has been elusive.
So what to do with unseasonably cold weather in July? Comfort food is what.
This 3 ingredient creamy herb and tomato pasta is comfort in a bowl. Imagine a vegetarian carbonara. Creamy and luxurious with a bold undertone of umami richness. Just 3 ingredients. I can’t get over it.
What you’ll need to make creamy tomato & herb 3 ingredient pasta
- High quality Italian seasoning
Of course you also need pasta but I’m not counting that in the ingredients since it goes without saying.
High quality Italian seasoning
Since it’s only 3 ingredients, the quality of those ingredients counts. A big part of it is the Italian seasoning you use. I used Euroma Funghi Trifolati, which I strongly recommend if you live in Europe and have access to Euroma.
This might look like a sponsored post but it’s not – I just love Euroma’s spice blends because you can quite literally taste the quality and care that goes into making them and I want everyone to experience the difference that quality makes in their cooking.
If you don’t have access to Euroma spice blends then of course substitute any really good Italian seasoning. Maybe you have a favourite?
If you don’t you can also combine a few things to make your own Italian seasoning – dried garlic and herbs like basil and oregano are a great start. If you want to go a step further you could also add some chilli flakes or dried mushroom powder (which adds umami and is a key part of the funghi trifolati I used).
Mascarpone or Italian cream cheese is indispensable in my kitchen. I always have a small or large tub (or a few) in the fridge because there are so many ways to use it. One such way is to make a quick and easy pasta sauce with few ingredients. Forget scrounging up the flour, butter and milk and whisking up a roux – mascarpone is the quick fix to make creamy pasta dreams come true.
To make a quick creamy pasta sauce (without cream) just toss a heaping spoonful of mascarpone into a hot skillet, mix with a ladle of pasta water and the possibilities are endless. Throw in roast tomatoes and Italian seasoning like I did or think of your own combination. Buttered mushrooms and roast garlic. Bacon and peas. There are a lot of things you can do with this simple base.
Roasting tomatoes brings out their complex umami flavours and adds a lot of depth to the finished pasta. The tomatoes can be roasted relatively quickly while the pasta is boiling.
The process for roasting the tomatoes is very simple. Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F. Slice up a couple medium sized tomatoes, toss them into a pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and the seasoning mix you’re using.
Creamy Tomato & Herb 3 Ingredient Pasta
This 3 ingredient creamy tomato and herb pasta is comfort in a bowl. Imagine a vegetarian carbonara. Creamy and luxurious with bold umami undertones.
200 grams dry pasta
8–10 plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons high quality Italian seasoning
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/4 – 1 cup reserved cup pasta water
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F.
Boil pasta according to package instructions in salted water.
Cut up the tomatoes into quarters, sprinkle with salt, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until burst and aromatic.
Drain pasta and reserve about 1 cup of pasta water. Add mascarpone and tomatoes to a skillet with 1/4 cup pasta water over medium-high heat and whisk until incorporated.
Add the pasta and Italian seasoning then stir until the pasta is fully coated. Taste and add salt as needed. If it’s too dry add a bit more of the pasta water and continue heating until desired consistency is reached.