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Penne with Lamb Ragu and Mint

In various regions of Italy, especially around Rome and in Sicily, fresh mint is used as a flavoring for meat, vegetables and fish dishes. The mint most often used is a wild herb that has a sophisticated and mellow taste, unlike spearmint or peppermint, which can be too sharp. Blending spearmint with basil gives a flavor similar to this herb, known as nepitella in Italian. When shopping for mint for this recipe, pass over dark green, strongly scented peppermint in favor of milder, lighter green spearmint.
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