Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce Recipe

May 23, 2007 16 Comments

Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce Recipe

 Basil Cream Sauce Pasta Recipe

I want to introduce you to Chef Mark Vogel, culinary instructor, food writer and doctor of psychology.  He has contributed several food articles on my web site including So You Want To Be A Chef that I just recently posted.

Chef Vogel graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and has been writing a syndicated food column “Food for Thought” for a number of periodicals and web sites. I’m hoping he may help me on occasion with my “Ask A Chef” feature answering your cooking questions more thoroughly.

Mark just told me about his new web site Food For Thought that contains all of his writings plus a bunch of Mark’s recipes. I encourage you to check it out when you have a free moment (and come back to The Reluctant Gourmet when you are finished of course).

And to really whet your appetite on what you will find at Chef Vogel’s new site, I’m posting his recipe for Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce. I think you will enjoy it. And don’t forget to read my Novice to Pro interview with Chef Vogel.

Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce


12 oz. pasta - shape of your choice

Olive oil and/or butter - as needed

Pinch of hot pepper flakes

1 small-medium onion chopped

Salt and pepper - to taste

4 cloves garlic - chopped

1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth

1 cup light cream

1 medium to large batch of basil - cut in chiffonade

How To Prepare At Home

While the pasta is cooking heat the oil and/or butter in a pan with the hot pepper.

Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook until the onion softens.

Add the garlic and cook one more minute.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Add the cream and barely return it to a gentle simmer. Since it is light cream, over cooking can cause it to break. Of course you could use heavy cream and dismiss that anxiety.

Add the basil and additional salt and pepper if needed.

Add the pasta, stir to incorporate it into the sauce and serve.

Last modified on Wed 16 July 2014 8:50 am

Filed in: Pasta Recipes

Comments (16)

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  1. Katie says:

    Excuse the ignorance, what does it mean to “cut en chiffonade”?

    p.s. LOVE the site!

  2. RG says:

    To “cut en chiffonade”is the fancy chef term to cut leafy green vegetables or herbs including the recipes basil into long thin strips or ribbons. The classic technique is to stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them up into a cylinder lengthwise and then slicing across the roll every 1/8inch or 1/4 inch depending on how narrow you want your strips.

    Personally, I typically just stack them and cut long strips with my knife or scissors. I bet this might even be a good job for my new favorite gadget, the pizza cutter.

    I’ll do some writing about different knife cuts and post it on the blog in the next week or two.

  3. Mike says:

    Two questions:

    How long should the sauce be let to simmer down for after the cream is added? I let it simmer down for a good 20 minutes but it still didn’t seem right. This relates to my second question:

    What should the consistency of the sauce be? After letting it simmer for about 20 minutes it was still extremely soupy. I thought after letting it cool it might coagulate but no such luck. It was still usable and very tasty, I would just have preferred it to be more sauce instead of soup like.

  4. Chef Mark says:

    First, the sauce “should” be whatever consistency you like. With that said there are a number of things you can do to increase the consistency:

    1) Cut down or even eliminate the chicken broth

    2) Use heavy cream instead of light cream

    3) simmer it longer or

    4) thicken it with roux. Simmer the onions in butter instead of oil, say 2-3 tablespoons worth. After the onions have softened add 2-3 tablespoons of flour and cook this for a few minutes. Then add the chicken stock and proceed with the recipe, ensuring to whisk the roux thoroughly into the stock.

    Thanks for writing.

  5. Sheryl says:

    How do you sharpen a pizza cutter?

  6. Gaby says:

    How many servings aprox. you get with the qunatities you provide here?


  7. Terran says:

    What is a “medium to large batch of basil?”

  8. Home with Mandy says:

    Great post, I was looking for a straight forward basil cream sauce. Thanks.

    Hi Mandy, you are very welcome. – RG

  9. Andrew says:

    Terran, to answer your question. 6 to 8 nice size leaves is a med to large bunch, but I use 8.

  10. Andrew says:

    BTW, This is a great sauce for serving with Lobster ravioli, and fresh bread. UUmmmm

  11. Mark says:

    “eliminate” 14.5 0z of chicken broth, really?

  12. Susan Kuehl says:

    Gonna try this, sounds great! This is the first recipe for this I am seeing Chicken Broth on, I was thinking it should have it in there! Thank-you!

  13. angie says:

    I would like to add some browned cremini mushrooms to this sauce – your thoughts? Also can I make ahead and add to pasta later?

    • Angie, if you follow my site or my social media, I’m always preaching to play around with mine or anyone else’s recipes to make them your own. Browned cremini mushrooms sound fantastic. Give them a try and let me know how it goes. As for making the sauce ahead of time, again, give it a try. It should be fine. I might be a little concerned about the cream but I’ve enjoyed leftovers of this dish and they tasted great. Maybe even better.

  14. Jean Forrest says:

    We made this for dinner tonight and it was really really good! The only change we made was using double cream (because it needed used). The bit of heat breaks the creaminess. This will definitely be made here again! Thanks for the recipe!

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