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Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives

This recipe for gemelli with fresh herbs and chopped olives is from the Glorious Pasta of Italy cookbook, by Domenica Marchetti.

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Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives – Photo credit: France Ruffenach

Author Domenica Marchetti notes:

I like to use an earthy mix of garden herbs in this sauce. You can choose your favorite mix, or even a single herb that you are particularly fond of; just be sure to use lots of it.

Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Jean, Lemons & Anchovies:

Ms. Marchetti’s Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives is the kind of dish that I can never get enough of. It is simple, requiring only a handful of ingredients; it comes together quickly, and yet it boasts bold flavor and satisfies very nicely. Olives and herbs are the stars of this dish, and while I’m no novice at using olives in pasta, I have never thought to use oregano, rosemary, and thyme in the same dish at the same time.

Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Photo credit: Lemons & Anchovies

Along with fresh tomatoes, there is a complexity and balance that one would not expect from a dish that takes mere minutes to prepare. This recipe has earned a spot on my regular rotation and the cookbook a well-deserved space on my bookshelf, but I doubt it will sit unused–I’ve bookmarked far too many other recipes for it to be ignored.

Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Photo credit: Lemons & Anchovies

We hope that you enjoy this recipe for gemelli with fresh herbs and chopped olives

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Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives

Featured Recipe From: Glorious Pasta of Italy

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 3 tbsp mixed chopped fresh herbs (I use oregano, rosemary, and thyme)
  • 1 cup/115 g coarsely chopped pitted Gaeta or Kalamata olives, plus 2 tbsp brine from the olives
  • 21/2 lb/1.2 kg plum tomatoes, seeded and grated
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Freshly black pepper
  • 1 lb/455 g gemelli, fusilli, or other short, sturdy pasta

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously.

While the water is heating, warm the oil and garlic in a large frying pan placed over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic releases its fragrance. Sprinkle in the herbs and the olives and brine and raise the heat to medium. Stir to combine and sauté for about 1 minute, then pour in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have been reduced to a creamy sauce. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.

Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir to separate, and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, reserving about 1 cup/240 ml of the cooking water.

Transfer the pasta to the frying pan and gently toss the pasta and sauce until thoroughly combined, adding a splash or two of water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Transfer the dressed pasta to warmed shallow individual bowls and serve immediately.

© 2011 Domenica Marchetti

Reprinted with permission from The Glorious Pasta of Italy, by Domenica Marchetti (Chronicle Books)

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