pasta with olive paste recipe
My plans for a pasta salad speckled with olives were almost foiled when I opened the olives and discovered that they were a fairly tasteless variety that I once before made the mistake of buying. There is a special place for disappointment in my heart when it comes to a sub-standard olive. A boring olive is really a travesty, and should be an oxymoron that’s also non-existent on supermarket shelves, but a certain company has decided to make it possible. Probably serves me right for going for the cheap option. Never again! Determined not to give up the olives, I decided something must be done. Faced with these olives in the past, I took the route of frying them in good olive oil with wine and garlic. This was a bit intensive in terms of both labour and cooking, but certainly improved the taste … marginally. This time I opted for the olivada (olive paste) option. I found a basic recipe in a book:
First I had to stone the olives, and work out how many grams are in half a pound. (I could have just pulled my trusty scales out of the cupboard but I couldn’t be bothered.) The recipe told me that half a pound of stoned olives was about a cup’s worth. It didn’t say whether the olives were stoned and chopped, or whole. Anyway, I guess I stoned about one and a half cups of olives – that’s measured when whole. (Not that I measured them. But I put a cup measure on the counter. What can I say, I didn’t want one extra thing to wash!) This does require a lot of stoning, and the process gets a bit boring, especially when the spring is starting to go on the olive stoner, but it’s the only way to go. I put all the olives in the small bowl of my Magimix and chopped the olives up, then drizzled in the olive, vinegar (apple cider, not red wine) and lemon juice. It still wasn’t an amazingly tasty mixture so I added:
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
The additions vastly improved the taste of the olivada. For the meal, I cooked farfalline, chopped two tomatoes, shaved a carrot, and chopped a handful of basil. I mixed about half of the olivada into the farfalline while it was still warm; when cool I added the other ingredients and the juice of half a lemon. The consistency of the olivada was perfect, and coated the pasta thoroughly and nicely, sitting in all the little cracks and not settling in the bottom of the bowl. This meal is so delicious and enriched with the taste of the olivada that it does not even require salt and pepper.