ZITI WITH HERBS AND MOZZARELLA
Makes 6 appetizer servings or 4 main-course servings
• 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
• 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
• 1 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley
• 1 cup loosely packed arugula leaves
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• Kosher salt
• 1 pound imported ziti
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Freshly ground black pepper
1. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and bake in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft. Cool.
2. Peel the cloves and place them in a food processor along with the basil, parsley, and arugula. Adding the oil in a stream through the feed tube, pulse until semicoarse. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the cheese, along with the crushed pepper, to the herb mixture and combine.
4. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Add all the ziti at once and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
5. Drain in a colander, refresh with cold water, and drain well again. Add the ziti to the herb and mozzarella mixture and combine. Season to taste with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.