One of my favorite restaurant chains is Oregano’s. It serves Italian food in large delicious portions. I always order either the Basta Pasta, Brussels Sprouts, Pablo Picasso Salad, the Huge Guaca-Tony, Bistro Calamari, Garlic Cheese Bread, or Lady is a Scampi (http://oreganos.com/). My mother cracks me up because she will order the Turkey Sandwich, but without the turkey (she is a vegetarian). My husband, Jeff, likes this place, too. In fact, Oregano’s is where we had our first date back in 2005 in Tempe, Arizona. My best friend, however, would be in aghast of me saying that Oregano’s serves Italian food. Haha! She is Italian and her family all cook real authentic Italian food. We choose to agree to disagree about the excellence of food quality, ambiance, and menu options at Oregano’s. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.
As I mentioned above, one of my favorite dishes from there is called Basta Pasta. It’s penne pasta smothered with pine nuts, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and garlic. If you go to the restaurant now you will NOT see it on the menu. However, if you ask for it they will make it up for you. So, there’s a secret you now know.
This recipe is inspired by that dish. This one uses fettuccine pasta and parmesan cheese instead. The toasty and buttery pine nuts are like morsels of happy treats while the tang and saltiness from the Kalamata olives brings each mouthful a balance in flavor. This is another comfort food dish perfect for dinner and left overs!
|Fettuccine with Garlic, Pine Nuts, and Kalamata Olives
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|1 pound of Fettuccine Pasta Noodles|
|2-3 Large Garlic Cloves|
|½ cup of Kalamata Olives|
|¼ – ½ cup of Pine Nuts|
|½ – 1 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flake|
|Sea Salt and Black Pepper|
To cook the pasta:
- Using a large pot fill it up with water (about half way or a little more) and bring to a boil.
- Submerge the FETTUCCINE pasta and bring the heat down to medium-high.
- Let the pasta cook until loose and easy to bite through (about 8-10 minutes).
- Stir the pasta occasionally to avoid sticking together and to the bottom of the pot.
While the pasta cooks, take a large saute pan and add 1 tablespoon of EXTRA VIRGIN OIL. Then bring the pan to medium high heat:
- Once the pan is hot add KALAMATA OLIVES, PINE NUTS, and chopped GARLIC.
- Mix the ingredients and cover with oil thoroughly.
- Check on the ingredients, lower the heat if necessary, and move them around so they don’t burn.
By the time the pasta has cooked the other ingredients will be done:
- Using a pair of tongs or a pasta kitchen spoon transfer the FETTUCCINE into the saute pan and mix with all the ingredients.
- Add more olive oil to keep the dish smooth and moist.
- If a little pasta water gets transferred into the saute pan that’s fine.
- Add PARMESAN CHEESE, RED PEPPER FLAKES, DRIED PARSLEY, and SALT and PEPPER.
Serve and enjoy!
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