Weekday Vegetarian: An Extremely Satisfying Spaghetti with Olives
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
Sometimes the simplest dishes with clear flavours are the best. This pasta sauce was tangy and piquant with a little bit of heat. My only complaint was that I hadn't made more pasta than I did. It was an altogether satisfying dish.Like with a lot of recipes, I made some minor changes to it, but not enough to change the essence of the recipe. First of all, tomato season is finished here in Toronto, so I used my canned tomatoes, as well as my canned hot peppers.
I didn't have time to stone a bunch of olives, so I ended with green olives, rather than dried black olives, which my husband prefers anyway. Then, rather than using mozzarella I used some fantastic fresh sheep's milk cheese that I got last week in the farmers' market and it worked extremely well. If you want a vegan pasta, just leave the cheese out, it will still be delicious.
This recipe is from Brunetti's Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro and Donna Leon.
Spaghetti with Olives and Mozzarella
12 oz spaghetti
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh chili, or 2 if preferred, chopped
salt to taste
1 1/2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dried black olives, stoned and chopped
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
9 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
10 fresh basil leaves, torn into strips
1. Heat the oil in a large pan or casserole and add the garlic, chili, a pinch of salt and the tomatoes. Stir and cook over a high heat to make a creamy sauce.
2. Add the olives and half the basil and adjust the seasoning for salt.
3. Cook the pasta in boiling water and drain, then add to the sauce in the pan and stir over a low heat until combined. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and stir well. Add the remaining basil and the mozzarella and serve very hot.