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Ziti with Spicy Pesto Pantesco

Pantesco means "in the style of Pantelleria," an island off the coast of Sicily. Capers grow well there, so they are a major source of flavor in the sauce.

slideshow Fast Weekday Pastas


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  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano


  1. In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, mint, basil, capers, garlic and red and black peppers. Season with sea salt.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the serving bowl. Toss well, sprinkle with the cheese and toss again before serving.


Cooking Club Tip: Instead of chopping the herbs called for in this recipe with a knife, you can simply cut them with kitchen scissors. Since this dish is so rustic, there's no need for precise cuts, just take a bunch of herbs and snip the leaves into small pieces right over the bowl of sauce.

Contributed By Photo © Jonelle Weaver Published June 1998

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