Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 as a main


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds fresh very ripe mixed tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice, with all of the juices
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought green olive paste (I like Crespi brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted green olives, such as Nyons
  • 1 1/2 pounds lasagne noodles
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (from 2 bunches), torn in half
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley


Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot.

While the water is heating, heat the oil in a 14-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is starting to color. Add the tomatoes and their juices, and cook until the liquid reduces a bit, 4 to 5 minutes. Season the tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. salt and the black pepper. Stir in the olive paste, and then add the olives. Remove the pan from the heat.

Add 2 Tbsp. salt to the boiling water. Drop the lasagne into the water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Just before the pasta is done, carefully ladle 1/4 cup of the cooking water into the olive mixture.

Drain the pasta thoroughly in a colander, and add it to the sauce. Add the basil and the parsley, and toss over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated. Pour into a warmed serving bowl, and serve immediately.

From Molto Batali (Ecco) by Mario Batali.

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