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Playing Penne and Green Beans with Burst Tomato-Tarragon Sauce


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small red chili, very thinly sliced
  • 2 pints ripe cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/2 cup dry crisp white wine
  • About 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped tarragon leaves several sprigs
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1/2 pound thin green beans (haricots verts), trimmed and cut into thirds on an angle
  • 1/2 pound ricotta salata, for grating


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chili pepper, and swirl 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and shake to coat in oil, season with salt and pepper, and cover pan. Cook until tomatoes burst, about 10-12 minutes, then break up remaining tomatoes with a potato masher and deglaze the sauce with wine. Reduce a minute or two then stir in tarragon and reduce heat to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper.

When tomatoes begin to burst, season the boiling water with salt then drop pasta and cook 5 minutes; add green beans and cook 3 minutes more. Reserve half a cup of starchy liquid just before draining. Drain pasta and beans, toss with sauce and starchy cooking water for 1-2 minutes.

Serve in shallow bowls topped with lots of coarsely grated ricotta salata cheese.