Simple, fast, and with attitude.
This pasta dish has a flagrant taste without blowing your top off. It reminds me of a reserved puttanesca sauce that doesn't take thirty minutes to cook down. And there are no anchovies or capers here, which is just as well if you are serving to kids or finicky-eaters. I usually have everything on hand, so in conjunction with the recipe being slick to make, I also don't have to hunt for things. (This kind of convenience is always welcome on weeknights.)
The main ingredients are linguini, though any long pasta works, garlic oil, cherry tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese, and the flavor-star, Kalamata olives. I add grated Romano cheese and torn basil. The sweet herb balances the hot, slap-your-face brine of the olives, which is lovely.
The butter makes the sauce velvety, but use ghee in place of it, if you prefer.
Notes: Garlic oil is extra-virgin.
LINGUINI 'PECORINO' WITH KALAMATA OLIVES
AND BLISTERED TOMATOES
Ingredients: Eight ounces linguini, 2 tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil, 2 cups cherry tomatoes, 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, 1 tbsp. butter 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, sea salt, pepper, 1 tsp. dried oregano, fresh basil, and red chili flakes (optional).
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and salt it well. Tip in the pasta and cook until al dente.
2. Heat the garlic oil in a large skillet pan over medium heat. Add cherry tomatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until they begin to blister and release their juices, about 7 minutes. Add in the olives and turn it down to low.
3. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Add butter to the skillet and stir to melt.
4. Tip the pasta into a large platter, then pour over the sauce. toss to coat well, adding a splash of pasta water if necessary. Add the pecorino and oregano and chili flakes if using, and toss again.
4. Serve immediately with freshly torn basil leaves.