A few friends and some Dear Readers have mentioned giving up meat, either temporarily for religious purposes or for a myriad of reasons long-term. So to help them a little, I am sharing this amazing, easy to make meat-free pasta dish.
Chock full of olives and herbs and kissed with a bit of lemon two ways, theHubs says it's amazing as is. But I prefer the addition of Parm cheese to jazz it up dairy-style. Either way, this weeknight olive sauce is so easy to make, you will have to wait for the pasta to finish before you can finish off the sauce.
Pasta with Green Olive Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield: 4 Servings
1 (12-16 oz.) box linguine, spaghetti or spaghettini (thin spaghetti)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 (19 oz) can green olives, chopped (use sliced olives to speed up the prep)
2 Tbl. drained capers
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread) crumbs
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
finely grated lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
1 loosely packed cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 loosely packed cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesano-Reggiano Cheese (optional, for a dairy/vegetarian alternative)
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
While linguine or spaghettini is cooking, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olives and capers; saute until hot (about 2 minutes). Stir in panko crumbs. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes until crumbs turn golden brown.
Stir in black pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest, parsley, basil and rosemary. Saute for 30 seconds or until the herbs become fragrant.
Stir in the 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Stir, adding more of the cooking liquid as needed, until sauce reaches desired consistency. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
Divide pasta mixture among 4 pasta bowls or dinner plates. Ladle olive sauce over pasta, and sprinkle with grated cheese (if desired). Serve immediately.