Spaghetti alle olive verde
Preparation - Medium
Gigliola Bacile was raised in the beautiful baroque southern city of Lecce, and it was there, she says, that she learned to dress spaghetti with chopped green olives. Her secret? She starts her soffritto with just a little extra virgin olive oil, and adds more fresh raw oil (oho crudo) at the end.
6 T extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated bread crumbs
3 salted anchovies or 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
3 garlic cloves
1/2 small dried hot red chile pepper, crumbled, or 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives (about 1 lb whole olives)
salt to taste
1 lb spaghetti
Put a teaspoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan and toast the bread crumbs in the oil over medium heat for a few minutes, until they are golden brown and crisp.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
If you are using salted anchovies, rinse them under running water to rid them of salt, strip away the bones, and chop coarsely; if using anchovy fillets, simply chop them.
In 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil, sauté the garlic cloves over medium heat until they are brown.
Add the chopped anchovies and, using a fork, stir and crush them into the oil.
Crumble the chile pepper into the oil.
Remove the garlic cloves and discard.
Stir the olives into the oil and let cook for about 3 minutes, just long enough to mix the flavors. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil.
Drop in the spaghetti and cook until done-10 to 12 minutes.
As the pasta finishes cooking, reheat the olive sauce.
Drain the pasta and turn into a heated serving bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil and the toasted bread crumbs to the olive sauce and toss with the pasta. Serve immediately.
Flavors of Puglia
Nancy Harmon Jenkins