The anti-routine recipe
Fresh tarragon pasta offers a versatile, distinctive change from your traditional red and white pasta sauces. The delicate flavor profile of fresh tarragon brightens up the asparagus and pasta without overpowering it. This sauce is equally wonderful with broccoli, spinach or other vegetables. You might try a vegetable combination or omit the pasta and substitute rice or grains such as quinoa or bulgur. This is your opportunity to get creative. Change it up a bit.
Let’s talk tarragon
Tarragon presents a unique, complex taste that may remind you of fennel or anise, but definitely not the same. Tarragon can be used in a multitude of palatable dishes including salad dressings and sauces and stews. This is a key ingredient for our loaded tempeh stew. Tarragon infused vinegars are popular salad dressing bases. Create your own infusion by adding a few sprigs of fresh tarragon to your favorite high-quality vinegar. Combine tarragon with spices such as herbs, sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram and create a distinctive broth for soups and stews.
Tarragon is a full flavor herb, and you will lose some complexity and subtle nuances if you replace fresh for the dry spice. At the least, you need to add extra to compensate for flavor diminishment. In addition to a subtle licorice taste, fresh tarragon provides a citrus dimension. For this reason, you may want to consider using tarragon to bring out the flavor of ingredients traditionally complimented with lemon. That’s not to suggest that a bit of tarragon vinaigrette isn’t the perfect solution to livening up some new potatoes.
Use it or lose it
Fresh tarragon usually arrives in the spring and summer months in abundance (and at lower prices). Tarragon, like most fresh herbs benefit from a bit of extra care and consideration. Ideally, you should use it within a few days of purchase and store it in the fridge. To store fresh tarragon, gently wash and pat it dry and place it between 2 slightly damp paper towels. Be considerate of where you place it in the fridge that it doesn’t end up in the coldest part.
Simmer for flavor
You may find tarragon leaves and stalks a bit on the tough side. This is one reason why simmering it in a flavorful liquid to infuse the taste presents a great option. I find that white wine enhances the release of flavors and raises the profile of the citrus dimension. If you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute vegetable broth with a few squeezes of fresh lemon for your acid.
Infuse and discard
I simmered the tarragon and white wine for approximately 15 minutes; however, your simmering time depends on your preferences. This is your excuse to taste it after 10 minutes and throughout the cooking process. Once you are at your ideal flavor, simply discard the tarragon. Don’t forget that you’ll be adding flour and plant milk which will mellow out the tarragon. Of course, you can further adjust the taste by adding less (or more) of the chopped tarragon at the end. So many options, so much latitude, so much to love about making it ourselves.
Delicate, but saucy
Fresh tarragon sauce is delicate and distinctive that compliments and enhances the asparagus and pasta. If you find this sauce a bit too thin to your liking, add more plant milk and/or flour. You could really shake things up by adding ¼ cup vegan sour cream or add fresh tarragon to a basic bechamel sauce. For something less dramatic, consider adding a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice or garnishing with lemon wedges for those who might like to tart it up.
I am certain that after you make this terrific sauce the first time, cooking creativity will kick in. Fresh tarragon sauce is so versatile it’s the perfect foundation to release your inner cooking diva. Sauté a bit of small-diced red pepper with the onion or add a clove of minced garlic. Add broccoli, a combination of vegetables or wilt spinach directly in the sauce for an added protein boost. Seriously, anything goes.
Fresh tarragon pasta is a change I believed in from my very first taste. I was surprised and pleased with the delicate full flavor which enhanced the natural goodness of the asparagus. It reminded me how a small change can start the wheel turning. Perhaps you want to break the cycle of the same old meal. You might desire the release from a bad habit or you aim to incorporate a healthier, plant-based diet. Whatever the catalyst, all worthwhile changes start with action. No matter how small. Action turns the wheel. Peace.Print
Break out of recipe routine with the delicate, distinctive flavor of fresh tarragon pasta with tender asparagus stems.
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon plus 1-2 tsp. finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups white wine or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup plant milk
- 10 oz. (300 gm) asparagus tips
- Pasta for 4 people
- Small dice the onion and finely chop 1-2 tsp. fresh tarragon leaves.
- Wash and prepare the asparagus tips and set them in the steamer.
- Measure out your pasta and start the pasta water.
- In a small saucepan, sauté the onion for 3 minutes, we’re just softening it up here.
- Add 2 fresh tarragon sprigs and pour in the white wine.
- Bring the pan to a simmer, cover and allow the flavors to infuse for 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard the tarragon sprigs.
- *If your pasta water is ready, pour in the pasta as the rest will go quickly.
- In a small cup, mix together the cornstarch and ¼ cup of vegetable broth. Add this to the sauce and whisk to ensure that there are no lumps.
- *Start your asparagus about now
- Continue to whisk the sauce for about 3 minutes until it starts to thicken a bit.
- Stir in the plant milk and 1-2 tsp. finely chopped tarragon and lower the heat while you tend to the pasta and asparagus.
- Give your sauce a quick taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
- Arrange the pasta on 4 plates and add the asparagus. Pour the sauce directly over.
- Serve with lemon wedges if desired.
- This sauce is ideal for vegetables as a flavorful and unique side dish.
- I don’t recommend using dry tarragon, but if you do, you’ll want to use 3 Tbsp. dry for the simmering plus additional after you add the plant milk.
- This basic sauce can also be combined with cauliflower and cashews for a tarragon bechamel.
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: Fresh asparagus pasta