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Fearing the no-garlic campaign might hurt producers, farmers’ associations have weighed in. One leading farming group, Coldiretti, put out a statement lamenting the “controversy over the use of garlic” and maintaining it contributes to Italians’ longevity.

Italians consumed 108 million pounds of garlic in 2006, up 4.3 percent from the previous year, according to Coldiretti. Italian production, however, was down from 65 million pounds in 2005 to 62 million pounds in 2006, while imports were up from countries like Turkey, China and Egypt.

Mr. La Mantia’s customers love his garlic-free dishes — his trattoria has been a success story in Rome since it opened four years ago. “You can cook perfectly well without it,” he said. “I use a lot of different ingredients — mint, basil, capers, orange, lemons — to make up for it.”

Moments after scooping his pasta from the pan and sprinkling it with thin almond slices, he says: “And that is how we do it.”

Garlic-free pasta

This recipe is from Mr. La Mantia, the anti-garlic chef of Rome’s Trattoria restaurant.

8 ounces linguine

10 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup toasted almonds

Handful of fresh mint

2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh or dry oregano, to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

Caciocavallo cheese (a savory Italian cheese), for grating (Parmesan could be substituted)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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