Cookbook Mania! The Good Cook’s Whole Wheat Noodles with Mixed Herbs

by Sarah on March 19, 2010

I’m hooked on these books! It’s The Good Cook Series, by Time Life Books. The “chief consultant” was Richard Olney, who was a major inspiration to Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower of Chez Panisse. I don’t think they are in print any more, but they are readily available at used book stores and CHEAP! I’ve been snatching them up here and there for around $4 per book.  I’ve been inspired by them recently, so you’ll see a few dishes from them in the next week or two.

I don’t know if it’s the fake spring or what, but I’ve been craving light foods–vegetables, little light pastas, herbs, green things.  That’s why this dish just leaped off the page at me.  Whole wheat pasta, tossed with a light pesto-like herb mixture.

I didn’t have or use all the ingredients the printed recipe lists.  I took some liberties, because you know–that’s how I roll.  Well, also because I didn’t want to go to the store.  No matter, because it turned out just as good–maybe even better.

The recipe uses some dried herbs.  I just used herbs I had in the yard.  Parsley, thyme, tarragon, sage and rosemary.  And a shallot.  Put it all in a blender or food pro, along with a bit of dry mustard, salt and pepper.  Puree, and drizzle in about 6 Tbsp neutral oil.

It looks very much like pesto!  It smelled really great too, so fresh.  My mixture was WAY oniony from the shallot but once I mixed it in with the pasta you couldn’t really tell anymore.  So don’t freak out if it tastes really oniony.

Meanwhile, you’ve boiled water and cooked your noodles.  I used the Barilla Whole Grain angel hair and it was perfect.  It only takes a few minutes to cook because it’s so thin.  I liked the texture of this brand very much–it wasn’t overly grainy like some whole-wheat pastas.

Pour your drained pasta into a big bowl and plop on about 4 Tbsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.  Pour your herb mixture on top.

Toss it together well so the sour cream and herbs are dispersed evenly.

I suppose you could put Parmesan on top, but I opted for just a few grinds of black pepper and some sea salt.

Easy weeknight Spring supper.  Could be on your table tonight!

Cookbook Mania! The Good Cook’s Whole Wheat Noodles with Mixed Herbs


  • 1 lb. whole wheat noodles
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • For herb mixture:
  • 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I doubled this)
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage (I used fresh, about 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp ground rosemary (I used fresh, about 1 tsp)
  • 6 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 tsp chopped white onion (I used about 1/2 a shallot, chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • (black pepper)


  • To make the herb mixture, put the herbs, onions, mustard and salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. While mixing, drizzle in the oil, as if you were making pesto. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Fill a large pan with water and 2 Tbsp salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and let cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain immediately and pour into a large bowl or serving dish.
  • Put the sour cream on top of the noodles with about half of the herb mixture. Toss lightly but well with two forks or with tongs. Add the remaining herb mixture so that it coats the noodles lightly.
  • Serves 4.

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