Pasta Sauce Boss: 5 Cannabis-Infused Recipes to Elevate Your Noodles


5 Game-Changing Cannabis Pasta Sauce Recipes

An essential component of cannabis pasta sauce is cannabis-infused olive oil. But you can’t just substitute cannabis-infused olive oil for regular olive oil in pasta recipes. That’s because heating cannabis-infused oils and butters above 350 degrees Fahrenheit causes the cannabinoids to breakdown, diminishing the quality of your infusion.

Because of this, the key to making good cannabis pasta sauce is to make a strong cannabis-infused olive oil. You won’t be cooking with this oil, but rather, integrating it into your cannabis pasta sauce while it’s off the heat.

All of the following recipes for cannabis pasta sauce are calibrated so that a ½ tablespoon of cannabis-infused olive oil is enough for you to feel good and high. The actual strength of the cannabis-infused olive oil is relative to your preference or tolerance, so you’ll want to play around with that when you’re infusing your oil. If you’re cooking for a group of people with different levels of tolerance, make your cannabis-infused olive oil less potent; you can always drizzle extra cannabis-infused olive oil on pasta when serving to your friends with higher tolerances.

1. Basil and Bud Pesto

Makes four servings’ worth of pesto sauce.

One of the best parts about making a batch of basil pesto is that it keeps well in the freezer, making for a simple, satisfying cannabis pasta sauce that requires very little effort. All you have to do is scoop out what you need to toss into your hot pasta of choice. Feel free to double or triple this recipe when basil is in season — you’ll be glad you stocked up for the winter. Otherwise, keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

2 cups basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts (pistachios or walnuts are a good alternative)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons cannabis-infused olive oil
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan

  1.     Mince in a food processor basil, pine nuts, and garlic.
  2.  While the food processor is still running, slowly drizzle in cannabis-infused olive oil. Transfer your mixture to a freezer-safe container and stir in grated parmesan.
  3.   Stash your pesto in the freezer for future use — just make sure you label it is “special pesto” so that you don’t forget it’s been infused with cannabis.

2. Anchovy Pangrattato Spaghetti

Adapted from the New York Times

Makes four servings

This weed spaghetti comes together quickly and couldn’t be more satisfying — especially if you already have a case of the munchies. The recipe also features plenty of black pepper, a spice which has anxiolytic properties that can help buffer against THC-induced anxiety.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of cannabis-infused olive oil
12 anchovies, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup coarse, dried bread crumbs
Black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (optional)

Make your pangrattato:

  1. In a medium skillet, warm extra-virgin olive oil and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat. Once oil begins to shimmer, add breadcrumbs and toast for a few minutes until just golden. Reduce heat to low, then add anchovies and garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, then remove from heat. Stir in cannabis-infused olive oil to evenly coat breadcrumbs.
  2. Cook spaghetti per the directions in a pot of salted water. In the meantime, whisk together egg yolks and fish sauce in a serving bowl. When pasta is al dente, use tongs or a pasta ladle to transfer pasta to serving bowl, stirring with egg yolk mixture so that pasta is evenly coated. Add pangrattato, tossing to coat spaghetti. Season with more black pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

3. Lemony Ricotta Pasta

Adapted from The Kitchn

Makes four servings

This cannabis pasta sauce requires no cooking, only a bit of warming, making it ideal for use with cannabis-infused olive oil. It’s also a meal that is ready in under 15 minutes — even less, actually, because it’s essentially done by the time your pasta is cooked. Another bonus to this cannabis pasta sauce is that it contains lemon zest, an ingredient that contains the terpene limonene, Like black pepper, limonene helps to offset the adverse effects of THC and will help to ensure that you’re happily high.

1 pound pasta, small shapes like penne or fusilli
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cannabis-infused olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves

  1.  Cook pasta per the directions in a pot of salted water
  2. Chiffonade the basil by stacking leaves together, rolling into a cylinder, and slicing crosswise to form thin ribbons. Combine ricotta, parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in a metal bowl that fits over the top of the pot. When pasta is nearly cooked, set bowl on to top of pasta pot and stir together; the mixture should be warmed through by the time the pasta has finished cooking.
  3. Drain pasta then add to bowl with ricotta mixture and basil, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.

4. Fettuccine Alfredo

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes four servings

This cannabis pasta sauce is a comfort food classic that calls for cannabutter instead of cannabis-infused olive oil. Use a concentrated batch of cannabutter* for this — like the cannabis-infused olive oil, you’ll want ½ tablespoon to correspond to a serving of weed.

12 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cannabutter
¾ cup grated Parmesan

  1. Cook fettuccine per the directions in a pot of salted water. Drain pasta when al dente, reserving a cup of pasta water.
  2. Bring pasta water to a simmer in a large skillet, then whisk in regular butter. Continue to whisk as you gradually add parmesan a bit at a time until it is completely melted and combined with water in pan, building a creamy sauce. (If sauce is too thick to easily coat pasta, add a bit more water.) Add pasta and toss into sauce, then remove from heat.
  3. Now add cannabutter, stirring pasta rigorously in pan in order to coat evenly as well as allowing cannabutter to emulsify with sauce. Transfer to serving platter. Top with plenty of freshly-ground black pepper, garnish with extra parmesan, and serve hot.

* If your cannabutter isn’t strong enough for this recipe, you can swap it out for cannabis-infused olive oil, but you’ll want to add a splash of heavy cream into the pasta water to ensure that it retains the creamy richness that butter provides.

5. Spaghetti Carbonara

Adapted from Serious Eats

Makes four servings

This cannabis spaghetti sauce takes a bit more effort to make, but you’ll be rewarded with a rich classic that’s perfect for a lazy weekend lunch, or even as a pasta you can serve for brunch.

1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup diced guanciale, pancetta, or bacon
2 tablespoons cannabis-infused olive oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
6 egg yolks
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
¼ cup grated Parmesan

  1. Cook spaghetti per the directions in a pot of salted water. Let the water continue to boil after finished pasta is removed.
  2. Meanwhile, add guanciale and extra-virgin olive to a large skillet, slowly rendering the fat over medium-low heat. Remove from heat when guanciale becomes crispy.
  3. Whisk together eggs, yolks, and both cheeses in a large metal bowl that is large enough to set on top of pot of pasta, seasoning with black pepper. Set aside.
  4. With tongs or a pasta ladle, transfer cooked pasta to skillet with guanciale, scraping bottom of the pan for browned bits. Add cannabis-infused olive oil to skillet, tossing pasta to coat. Transfer all of skillet contents to metal bowl with egg-cheese mixture. Gradually add ½ cup of pasta water to bowl too, making sure that eggs don’t get cooked by the heat of the pasta water.
  5. Set metal bowl over pot of water with heat still on. (If necessary, drain out some water so that water does not touch bottom of your metal bowl.) Stir and toss constantly with a pair of tongs until sauce becomes thick and creamy. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and extra parmesan. Serve immediately.

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