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Herb Sauce

MAKES 1 CUP

This quick herb sauce teamed with Sardinian feta cheese can be made several days ahead and is perfect on short cuts of pasta like fusilli. Do not substitute dried herbs for fresh as ahead and that would be the sauce's ruination.

The flavor of this sauce is developed by the slow cooking of the herbs for just l minute so their delicate oils will not be destroyed.

Ingredients

1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

6 scallions, white part only, cut into thin rounds

1/2 cup minced arugula leaves

1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley leaves, without stems

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 pound homemade (page 26) or store-bought fusilli

1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat, add the garlic halves, and cook slowly, pressing on the cloves with a wooden spoon to flavor the oil. When the edges of the cloves begin to turn golden brown, remove and discard them. Cook the scallions in the olive oil, stirring, until they soften. Stir in the arugula, basil, and parsley and cook slowly for 1 minute. Stir in the salt. Keep the sauce over low heat while the fusilli are cooking.

Cook the fusilli as directed on page 29. When aldente, drain the fusilli, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the fusilli to the cooking pot, along with the reserved cooking water, add the sauce, and mix to evenly coat the fusilli. Transfer to a serving bowl or plat­ter, sprinkle the feta cheese over the top, and serve.

TIP: Spray a chef's knife with vegetable or olive oil spray before mincing the herbs to prevent them from sticking to the knife blade.

NOTE: The sauce will keep covered at room temperature for 3 days or may be refrigerated for longer storage.

NOTE: This is also a great marinade for fish or chicken.

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