Pasta with Fresh Herbs

Recipe Author:
Ojai, California

This is one of my favs from my Around the World recipe collection. Each week I attempt to make a new, never-before dish from somewhere exotic in the world - usually on Sundays when I can really relax (read: not work!). I enjoy shopping at the local Ojai farmers' market, putting on music (reggae or jazz), and pouring myself a glass of wine. This is a time to slow down, way down and let my foodie freak out. Usually Ben or Sky suggest the country or exotic place the week before and then I go searching on the internet for something yummy. When I make it, if Ben and Sky give it a thumbs up, it'll be posted here.

Italy is one of my favorite places on earth! So I like to travel here (in my mind and through my palate) as often as possible! This is a super fresh-tasting recipe that is also super easy to make.

1 pound thin spaghetti (or angel hair)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of fresh herbs: equal amounts of parsley, flat-leaf parsley and basil.
1 tablespoon mint, optional
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup finely grated cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan)

1. Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
2. Heat the oil in another pan over medium heat and add garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add all the herbs and cook gently for 30 seconds minute. Pour mixture over the hot spaghetti, toss, and cover with a lid for a few minutes to allow the pasta to soak in the flavors
Serve with the grated cheese.

Variations (add to the 2-minute cooking stage)
~8 ounces cooked sliced chanterelles (mushrooms)
~Cherry tomatoes, halved