Linguine in Lemon Tapenade

Here’s another pasta dish, which I made last Sunday.  I wanted something different, but did not have the opportunity to get new ingredients at the grocery.  I’ve always wanted to use tapenade as my sauce, and good thing I had black and green olives in my pantry.

The result is my Linguine in Lemon Tapenade.  For me, this dish is phenomenal.  Love at first bite.  The dish has just the right amount of salty flavor, it’s garlicky, and the toasted tomatoes provide a sweet, contrasting flavor.  It’s a vegetarian dish as it has no meat.  But — I did put an enormous amount of parmesan cheese.

Oftentimes, tapenade is served in Greek or Italian restaurants.  It’s good with pita or crostini.  But yes, it’s also good with pasta, provided that the tapenade is not very salty.

Ingredients and Directions

1) I wanted a roasted taste, so I toasted the tomatoes separately.  Slice 3 medium-size tomatoes into thin slices.  Lay them down on a pyrex dish.  Drizzle with freshly-grated pepper, plus a pinch of salt and chili flakes.  Toast in your oven or oven toaster at 175C for about 10 minutes.  Make sure that the tomatoes are ripe so that you have a sweet taste to the tomatoes.

2) Take the tomatoes out of the oven after 10 minutes.  The tomatoes will look very dry.  I “re-hydrate” them by drizzling them with olive oil. I love how this worked out very well to make the dish delicious.  The tomatoes, dry by then,  fully absorb the flavor of the olive oil.

3) While the tomatoes are in the oven, I cooked the linguine noodles.  You can cook them according to instructions.  Since I wanted to eat right away (it was a late lunch already), I used my fool-proof technique on boiling noodles using the microwave.

4) For the tapenade, you will need 1 cup of pitted black olives, 1 cup of pitted green olives, cloves from 1 head of garlic.  Add parmesan cheese — the more the merrier!  Add juice from half of a lemon, as well as grated lemon zest from the lemon you’ll use.   Put them all in your food processor.  Add pepper.   Pour 1/4 cup olive oil.  Pulse until finely chopped.  There’s no need to add salt — or anchovies, which is common with many tapenades — because the olives are already salty.

5) To put everything together, using your pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter.  Add the tapenade, and then add your cooked noodles.  Add in lemon juice from the remaining half of your lemon.  Add more cheese.  Top with the toasted tomatoes.  And then, add more cheese.  After this, your dish is ready to serve.

You will love the dish! It has just the right amount of salty flavor — and yet it has a sweet, rustic contrast from the tomatoes.  Serves 2 — or 1 very hungry person! 🙂  Comfort food indeed!

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