Olive Tapenade Linguini with Prosciutto
If I were to have a soul mate in the form of a country – if that were at all possible – I think it would be Italy. In all fairness, I’ve never been, so I can’t be completely sure. There are a lot of the places in the world that I’m sure I would fall in love with, but I think Italy and I might be meant for each other.
Yes, the countrysides are beautiful, the history is vibrant, and the art and museums are infamous. But what makes me so enamoured with Italy is, simply, the food.
There are so many of my favourite foods that originated in Italy: carbs and sweets and simple ingredients that yield amazing results. Gelato. Tiramisu. Pizza. Risotto. Pasta.
I adore simple pasta.
It’s a very North American thing to have a heavily sauced pasta. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good homemade sauce loaded with crumbled sausage, lots of veggies, seasoning, tomato sauce. There’s a time and a place for such a hearty pasta, but in Italy, pasta is simple. Instead of loading the sauce with a mile-long list of ingredients, it’s common to simply toss them in oil and call it a dish. Additions can be made with seasoning or vegetables, but a light sauce with just a few ingredients really lets the flavour and texture of the noodles shine. Like a simple carbonara or spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil), simple flavours and al dente noodles are all you need.
To put it simply, Italians know that less is more.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- Fresh black pepper, to taste
- 450g linguini
- Olive oil
- 150g sliced prosciutto, torn into pieces
- Fresh Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain well, reserving some of the pasta water; set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, in a food processor, combine the garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, chili flakes, and pepper. Pulse until mixture has broken down. Adjust to taste.
- Toss pasta with tapenade and a bit of olive oil and reserved pasta water, breaking up the noodles and creating a thin, light sauce.
- Serve topped with prosciutto, Parmesan, and fresh parsley.