There’s nothing quite like fresh pasta in its many forms. The texture is light and fluffy, and yet still durable to hold up to sauces and fillings.
But I must give credit also to the fabulous world of dried pastas. Whenever I’m shopping at a new store, I grab pastas with unique shapes and also flavors. Just for fun. Who wants to only cook spaghetti and elbow macaroni?
So a while back I was on the Open Sky website, and came across a company that sold gourmet food items called Valois Gourmet. (I hope the link works for everyone.)
There were two that I couldn’t resist buying – olive pasta and sweet potato pasta (not pictured).
The pasta brand is Morelli, and is an Italian product. The pasta actually contains minced green olives, plus dehydrated spinach – perhaps for a little color.
Check out these pumpkin pie roasted almonds from Valois Gourmet, too! What a great nibble to have around during the holidays.
In any case, to me, there’s nothing quite like a flavored dried pasta that speaks for itself, which is the case of this variety. Because of the olive flavor, so little else is needed. A little shallot or garlic, a little tomato, some capers, and maybe some extra olives for olive enhancement. And there’s always Parmesan. Simple.
So here’s what I did with this olive fettuccine.
Double Olive Pasta
Olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, well drained*
1 – 8.8 package pasta with olives
Sliced olives, I used a Mediterranean mixture
Toasted pine nuts, optional
Grated Parmesan, optional
Place the olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute them for a few minutes.
Then add the drained tomatoes.
Cook the mixture until there almost no liquid remaining in the skillet; set aside.
Cook the pasta according to directions on the package, which in this case was four minutes.
Have any of you used this handy silicone gadget that keeps boiling water from overflowing? It’s a miracle worker. I think about 4 out of 5 times that I cook pasta the boiling water overflows. And we all know that it’s not that easy to clean up. This product is made by Kuhn Rikon, and it’s called a spill stopper. It comes in two sizes. Just FYI.
You have two options when you cook dried pasta. Firstly, if you cook it al dente, plan on adding some kind of liquid to the pasta dish once it’s tossed with the tomato mixture. This can be broth, some pasta water, or even cream. The pasta will continue to “cook” and absorb liquid.
Secondly, If you cook the pasta until soft all the way through, plan on tossing the pasta with the tomato mixture and serving immediately.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain well.
Add the pasta to the skillet and toss everything together.
Serve immediately if the pasta is fully cooked. If it isn’t, take about 15-30 minutes to add liquid of choice, and let the pasta soften in the liquid, adding as much liquid as necessary. Then serve.
Sprinkle the pasta with cheese, olives, capers, and parsley, if using any or all of these toppings.
Normally I would add some cayenne pepper flakes to a similar pasta dish, but in this case, I want to enjoy the olive flavor from the pasta.
* If your canned tomatoes are good quality, make sure to save the tomato juice. If the canned tomatoes are in essentially water, don’t bother.
note: In the summer I would use fresh, peeled tomatoes for this pasta, and probably include fresh basil. But during the other months, canned tomatoes are a wonderful substitute – as long as you buy a high quality canned tomato.
verdict: I was truly impressed with this product! There is definitely an olive flavor. The pasta made for a lovely lunch, but for dinner I’d definitely serve it with some good sausages or pork tenderloin.