17 Inspired Pasta Dishes for Hot Days

Fairytale Pasta with Herb Oil

Fairytale Pasta with Herb Oil

"I call this Fairytale Pasta because the fava beans look like the magic beans from Jack and the Beanstalk (and I cook for a lot of families with small children),” says NYC-based private Chef, Lisa Adams. "I make my summertime pasta salads with an herb oil so they're safe to take to the beach or to a picnic with no refrigeration."


  • 1 lb. of pasta
  • 1 cup fava beans, shelled (shelled edamame or frozen lima beans are great substitutions)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 cup asparagus, sliced into coins or on the bias in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup herb oil*


1. While the pasta is boiling, sauté the vegetables in a large skillet in a little bit of oil, season with salt and pepper. 

2. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.

3. Add the pasta to the skillet. Pour in the herb oil and a little bit of the pasta water to the pan. Stir until everything is combined and a bit thickened.

4. Add in the cheese and serve.

5. *Herb Oil: Most recipes only call for a few tbsp. Of fresh herbs and I am left with a bundle of flavorful greens that end up wasted. Now I puree them (tender herbs like basil, chives, tarragon, parsley, cilantro) in the food processor or blender with olive oil and freeze them until I need them. These oils melt perfectly into hot dishes like pasta. There are many different techniques: blanching the herbs, boiling the oil, overnight infusions, multiple strainings, etc.

6. Shortcut version: Puree 1 part herbs to 3 parts oil until smooth. Pour into a freezer safe container. Take it out and use when you want to make simple things fancy! I drizzle these oils over grilled meats, onto salads, oven roasted vegetables, dot onto soups, marble them into mashed potatoes, or to add color and flavor to just about anything.