Alex Guarnaschelli's 3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce Will Change Your Life - Exclusive

There's something you might not know about Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli unless you follow her on Instagram, and that is that she posts photos of turnips and kohlrabi the same way some people post cats and selfies — which is to say, regularly and with apparent glee. There's a reason for that — the Food Network star is obsessed with produce. "I cook and buy and eat and explore produce galore," she told Mashed during an exclusive interview. "If you know me, you know that I love plants, and I like to eat them." But just try to interest chef Alex in talking about plant-based burgers, and that enthusiasm is nowhere to be found. 

"I really don't cook those things because I don't eat them," she confessed when asked her thoughts on vegan "meats." But plant-based pasta? Now that's another story altogether. In particular, Guarnaschelli is a major fan of Japanese-inspired plant-based food brand ZENB's line of high-protein, gluten-free rotini, penne, and elbows, all of which are made from a single ingredient: one hundred percent yellow peas (via ZENB). 

Ever since Guarnaschelli started cooking with ZENB, she's been "impressed." That's why she agreed to collaborate with the brand on a series of recipes meant to complement its "true pasta" taste and al dente texture, and there was one pasta sauce in particular the chef wanted to share with us.

Alex Guarnaschelli's pasta sauce plays up fresh herbs

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli really knows her way around flavor, thanks in large part to her tenure with French culinary legend Guy Savoy — not to mention New York-based star chefs, Larry Forgione and Daniel Boulud (via Alex Guarnaschelli). So when the now executive chef of New York City's Butter got to thinking about the best possible ways to highlight ZENB's plant-based pasta, it seemed only natural that her instinct would be to grab the freshest and greenest herbs she could find. 

"I think the best way is to cook [it] and just drop it right into a beautiful sauce," she told Mashed, naming a few that she feels compliment the ingredient, including clam sauce and vegan tomato sauce; but it was a simple sauce made of butter, greens, and herbs that she took the time to instruct us on. "I like parsley and basil a lot together. I also like to chop up arugula as if it's a herb. And I love to take that with some sweet basil, so you get peppery arugula with sweet basil." And that's all there is to it. Simply stir the verdant chiffonade into butter, drop in the pasta, and devour.

More plant-based and chef-inspired recipes can be found on ZENB's website, and you can hear more from Guarnaschelli on the Food Network's Supermarket Stakeout and The Kitchen.