Any self-respecting kitchen witch is defenceless in the face of new and interesting ingredients she can add to her pantry. Regardless of whether or not she lives in a tiny apartment and said pantry is largely metaphorical. Remember when I made that beetroot-red linguine? Well, along with that marvel of Italian ingenuity, and a glass phial of black Hawaiian salt which will hopefully make an appearance somewhere in the foreseeable future, I also bought a packet of foglie d’ulivo pasta. As the name suggest, these dried semolina morsels are shaped like olive leaves and tinted a beautiful green with the help of spinach. I’ve kept things simple to allow the pasta to really shine. The thinly sliced garlic – fried to a golden brown state of perfection – the umami of the olives, and the sweet sun-dried tomatoes are balanced beautifully by the acidic freshness of the white wine and lemon zest. The simplicity of this recipe means the quality of the ingredients is everything. Especially the olives can make or break this dish, so make sure to find some good ones. Finish off with your favourite olive oil and perhaps a bit of grated Pecorino. And don’t dawdle: la pasta non aspetta!
Ingredients (for 2):
200 g foglie d’ulivo pasta
a handful of pitted unpasteurised organic black olives
3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
5 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)
a generous splash of white wine
a drizzle of mild and fruity extra virgin olive oil
some grated Pecorino cheese (optional)
- Boil the pasta in salted water for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat a bit of oil and fry the slices of garlic until they’re just golden brown.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and a good splash of white wine, then turn down to a simmer.
- Add olives and lemon zest.
- Drain the pasta and heat it through in the sauce along with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve immediately and top off with some grated cheese (tasty but not essential).