This happy accident of a meal came from being out of ingredients and laziness. I had saved half a box of bashed lasagna noodles which was all I had left when looking in the pantry for pasta and red sauce. The jar of Kalamata olives was sitting in the sauce's usual spot, daring me. I took the dare.
When you eat this, you'll find as I did, that the random pieces of noodle going every which way is fun - childlike - and eating the wide, humorous shapes of the noodles even more fun. The sauce is slick, herby and pungent with garlic-infused olive oil, more garlic, and the olives. I had hoped for Parmesan, but was out of that as well. I did have Pecorino. It perfectly punctuated everything with its salt, dry shards. Torn parsley stood in for fresh basil (worked great). You have to make this.
"Kalamata olives are briny and earthy without the spiky sharpness that green olives have. Buy them pitted so you don't have to do that work."
Notes: Garlic-infused olive oil is Trader Joe's.
BROKEN PASTA WITH OLIVES
Ingredients: 8 oz. broken lasagna noodles, scant 1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil, 2 garlic cloves-minced, 2 tsp. dried Italian herbs, 2/3 cup Kalamata olives- roughly chopped, 1/4 cup torn parsley leaves, 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano shards.
1. Cook pasta in very salty water, until just al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Tip in olives, Italian herbs and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Add pasta into the skillet and stir to combine. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the edges of the noodles start to darken and crisp a bit. Add some pasta water to keep things moving, if needed. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes. This will keep the cheese from coagulating in to half-melted clumps.
4. Just before serving, toss pasta with Pecorino and parsley.