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Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Pecorino

Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 pound penne
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped marjoram
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes—halved, seeded and quartered
  • 1/3 cup Calamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Tuscan Pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the penne and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, marjoram with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Scrape into a bowl and season with salt.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the penne with the herb puree, tomatoes and olives and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to develop flavor. Just before serving, add the Pecorino, season with pepper and toss well.

Make Ahead

The pasta can be tossed up to 2 hours ahead.

Suggested Pairing

The aromatic herbs, raw tomatoes and tangy cheese here suggest a fragrant white with crisp acidity. Or try a vibrant Sangiovese–based rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Mark Seelen Published October 2002

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