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Poor Woman's Basil Pasta

Updated on December 28, 2015
fresh basil pasta
fresh basil pasta

So it's getting late, you're hungry, and maybe your family is hungry too. Such fun! Then, you remember that package of pasta that you have in the pantry, or perhaps that package of leftover pasta that's been lingering in the fridge. Perfect! Because that's all you need to make this easy as pasta recipe.

Year's ago, my husband was good friends with a lady in Denver, and she's always made this dish when pressed for time or perhaps feeling a little lazy, which we all do once in a while--or a little more often. So the time-saving big secret is to keep a bag of pre-cooked pasta in the fridge to be whipped out at any time. Midnight snack anyone?

Even if you don't have pasta on-hand, all you need to do is put on that big kettle of water, wait for it to boil and you're ready to go. If you're really in a hurry, do with vermicelli or angel hair, since they cook a little bit faster. Once your pasta is cooked, you can pack it way in any plastic bag. In fact, cook two boxes of pasta at a time to save yourself some work. It will stay nice and flexible and moist until your ready to use it. So, let's get on to the action shall we!

This recipe, is I'm sharing it is a great light meal that can be embellished a million ways. For example, how about adding a package of steamed veggies? Maybe a few shrimp that cook in seconds, or if you're hundry for meat add some leftover chicken, some pepperoni, pancetta or ham and you'll have a great no-fuss meal that satisfies everyone.

P.S. Feel free to use fresh basil, homemade pesto or whatever you have on hand to make this recipe even better!

How did the recipe work for you?

Cast your vote for Easy Basil Pasta

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20

Total Time: 30

Serves: 2 or more. You decide!


  • One box of pasta, such as spaghetti, linguini or angel hair, cooked
  • Olive oil
  • Dried basil
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
McCormick Basil Leaves, 5 oz
McCormick Basil Leaves, 5 oz

Fresh basil from the garden isn't available all year, so stock up on the dried variety so you can make this dish on the coldest days of winter.



  1. Put a large skillet on medium heat
  2. Add a generous coating of olive oil, maybe 2 tablespoons to the bottom of the pan about 1 Tbsp per person (adjust quantity if making a larger amount)
  3. After a few minutes, add your pre-cooked pasta by the handful
  4. Toss gently to coat with oil
  5. Then, sprinkle generously with dried basil, using about 1 Tbsp of basil per person or seasoned to taste.
  6. Next, add garlic powder if desired and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Finally, put the pasta on two plates, and serve with grated Parmesan

To quote Emeril, how would you kick this recipe up a notch? Share your tips and ideas here!

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    • profile image

      Sonchai 2 years ago

      Making bread isn't all that difficult relaly just time consuming. All you need to make sure you do if have the water warm but not hot, the yeast needs to grown and ferment, body temperature does this but never boiling as this will kill the yeast. Give it a go though, it's cheap to make so if it goes wrong you won't be out of pocket either.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 3 years ago

      A great easy recipe. I usually use pesto, which I keep in a jar in the refrigerator just for these occasions. Shrimp or scallops are good with this too.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Everything I like is in this, I would kick it up with a touch of red pepper!! Thanks :)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I do enjoy simple food like this. Simply delicious!

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      I shared it on our G+ page! Come and check it out!