John Martin Taylor may have been inspired by the food of southern Italy to make this recipe, but it fits right in with the cooking of the American South, which is enjoying a revival of kitchen gardens. Beyond the general use of herbs, mint gives this recipe a Dixie signature. When making your own mixture, start with basil and parsley as a base and add the more fragrant herbs as accents.
Fast Weekday Pastas
1 pound penne rigate
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups loosely packed herb leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Grana, Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus
more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, until softened but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the herbs and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir the contents of the skillet into the pasta along with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Serve immediately and pass the additional cheese separately.
The generous amount of herbs and garlic make this pasta a natural for the Columbia Crest Merlot from Washington State or the St. Spréy Sauvignon Blanc from California.
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