with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives

Gemelli with Fresh Herbs and Chopped Olives

Makes 4 servings


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.

  • 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
  • 2-1/2 lb/1.2 kg plum tomatoes, seeded and grated
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb/455 g gemelli, fusilli, or other short, sturdy pasta

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 saute 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 the cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Transfer the dressed pasta to warmed shallow individual bowls and serve immediately.

  • from:
    The Glorious Pasta of Italy
  • by Domenica Marchetti
  • Photographs by France Ruffenach
  • Chronicle Books 2011
  • Hardcover; 280 pp; $30.00
  • ISBN-10: 0811872599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8118-7259-1
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy The Glorious Pasta of Italy


The Glorious Pasta of Italy


This page created October 2011

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