This garlic basil pasta is full of flavor--it's creamy, garlicky, spicy, and the honey balsamic drizzle adds a sweet tanginess that's unparalleled!
Garlic Basil Pasta FAQs
Why did you use egg yolks to make the sauce for the garlic basil pasta?
Have you ever had a bowl of spaghetti carbonara and thought about how luxuriously creamy it was? It's because of the egg yolks! I wanted to achieve that silky texture in this dish, too.
Will the egg yolks be fully cooked? Is this pasta safe for me to eat?
While the hot pasta will partially cook the yolks, they will not fully cook through. But don't worry! All egg products in the United States are pasteurized, as required by the USDA. This means that the eggs have been heated quickly and held at a required temperature for a specific amount of time in order to kill bacteria that cause food poisoning. Therefore, only store-bought eggs that have been pasteurized should be used in this recipe.
*If you or someone you're cooking for is at a higher risk for food poisoning, leave the egg yolks out of this recipe.
I can't find bucatini--can I use another pasta shape?
Absolutely! While I love using bucatini because of that unique "bite" it gives, you can easily swap in spaghetti, linguine, or even some of the shorter shapes, like campanelle or gemelli.
If you're looking to make this dish a bit more filling, increase the fiber content by adding in more veggies! Zucchini, tomatoes, leeks, cooked honeynut squash, or even cauliflower florets would all be a welcome addition to this garlic basil pasta. If you do add in more veggies, I recommend switching to a shorter pasta shape, like the ones mentioned above. It will make the pasta easier to mix, and easier to eat politely.
If you're vegetarian, or just looking to add a little extra protein to this pasta, I recommend steamed edamame, cannellini beans, or if you're feeling extra rich, buratta mozzarella.
Substitutions & Additions
This is one of the only dishes I recommend cooking as written first before making any adjustments. The blend of flavors is so spot on. It's creamy, a little spicy, cheesy, garlicky, and that honey balsamic drizzle adds a tangy sweetness that pulls the whole dish together.
Traditional pasta vs. whole wheat pasta: While you do sacrifice a bit of texture when swapping in whole wheat pasta, you make up for it by feeling more satiated because of the increased protein & fiber content.
Asiago vs. other hard-aged cheeses: I personally like the sharp tanginess of the aged asiago--it adds another level of flavor and interest to this pasta. But if you have parmesan or pecorino on hand, feel free to use that!
Salted butter vs. pesto butter: To amp up the flavor, try swapping in this Hazelnut Basil Pesto Butter. It will add more bold basil & garlic flavors to the pasta, while the crushed hazelnuts add a bit of texture!
Arugula vs. other greens: If you don't have arugula on hand, spinach is a great swap here! I'd recommend giving the spinach a rough chop before tossing them into the pasta. It will make mixing & eating a bit easier.
Garlic Basil Pasta Bonus Tips
1) Whatever you do, do NOT skip the honey balsamic drizzle. It brings the entire dish together & highlights all of the flavors.
2) Cooking the garlic in the microwave might seem a bit unorthodox. However, I've found it's the quickest, easiest way to cook the garlic without burning it. If you're a kitchen multi-tasker, this hack makes all the difference--you don't have to focus on not burning the garlic!
3) If you're looking to take this dish in a less vegetarian direction, I'd recommend a thinly sliced medium-rare steak, prosciutto, bacon, shrimp, scallops
4) When reheating leftover pasta, add a splash of milk or half & half to the bowl before heating.
If you're looking for a comforting bowl of hot pasta that's packed with flavor, look no further. This garlic basil pasta satisfies even the strongest pasta cravings--and you get to feel good because there are greens in it too!
All my love & a little butter,
Olivia Sokolowska, MBA, RD
Garlic Basil Pasta with a Honey Balsamic Drizzle
This garlic basil pasta is full of flavor--it's creamy, garlicky, spicy, & the honey balsamic drizzle on top adds a sweet tanginess that's unparalleled!
- 4 garlic cloves (1.5 tablespoon minced)
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 egg yolks, large
- ½ lb. bucatini pasta
- 1 oz. Asiago cheese
- ⅓ cup half & half
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1. Bring salted pasta water to a boil.
2. Peel & mince garlic and place in a small glass or ceramic microwave-safe dish. Add in butter & olive oil and microwave for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside.
3. Separate the eggs, keeping the yolks, and discarding the whites (or better yet, save the whites for a quiche!). Break the egg yolks with a fork and set aside.
4. At this point the pasta water should be boiling. Add the bucatini and cook until the pasta is al dente, following the instructions on the package.
5. Finely shred the asiago cheese & set it aside.
6. In a small bowl, mix together honey and balsamic vinegar with a fork. Set aside until the last step in the recipe.
Assemble the Pasta
7. When the pasta is ready, strain it, do NOT rinse it, and add it back into the pot. Turn the stove down to. low heat and add in the half & half, mixing the pasta with a pasta fork.
8. While continuously stirring the pasta, slowly add in the egg yolks and stir until fully combined.
9. Mix in cooked garlic & butter, pepper flakes, lemon juice, shredded asiago cheese, and salt & pepper to taste.
10. Once the cheese has fully melted and all ingredients are fully combined (except for honey & balsamic vinegar mixture), mix in fresh arugula.
11. Top with fresh basil & drizzle with the honey balsamic sauce. Enjoy!
*Cooking the garlic in the microwave might seem a bit unorthodox, but I've found it's the quickest, easiest way to cook the garlic without burning it. It also keeps the garlic soft, so you don't end up with a pasta that has pieces of garlic that stick in your teeth.
Serving Size1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving Calories 372Total Fat 14.2gSaturated Fat 6gSodium 272mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 2.5gSugar 7gProtein 12.5g
Please note that nutrition information is a computer-generated estimate and should not be interpreted as a registered dietitian's advice. Nutrition facts calculations vary based on brands, products, and serving sizes.
Johanne Carmon says
I was able to find good info from your blog posts.
Salted Butter Kitchen says
So happy to hear that, Johanne!
Elizabeth Birlson says
This pasta is AMAZING! It’s perfectly creamy and I feel good after I eat it. I love this recipe!!