There was at time in my life when I couldn't stand olives. I just really didn't get the whole olive experience. That was before I moved to Spain way back in 1997. To be honest, I never really had a whole lot of exposure to olives. The local supermarket in my home town probably sold one or two kinds in tiny little cans on part of the shelves where nobody ever looked. So, living here in southern Spain, I have learned to appreciate and find a love for olives. When you are living on the doorstep of one of the worlds largest olive exporters, it is hard not to give then a try, and then a second and third try! So, two decades and too many olives to count later, I love them! There is nothing better than a few olives with a glass of wine. It just feels right and it tastes right.
Apart from eating olives straight or in a Martini, which I really don't like, olives have many uses in cooking. One of my most favourite all time dishes with olives is the Green Olive Chicken. I keep bringing that dish up because it is a real winner. I have never served it to anyone who didn't like it. Even olive virgins! It is so easy to put together and then the oven does the rest of the work. So give that one a try as well.
Finally getting to the dish before us. A very easy to put together pasta dish and is quick enough for lunch and nice enough for friends. Really lovely flavours with the olives and the mascarpone. Make is you next dinner!
If you love the olive flavour, you could substitute about 1/4 of the pasta water for the brine from the olives. This will give the dish more of an "olivey" flavour. Yes, I know that isn't a word, but I like it!
This would be a great throw together dish to serve friends along with the Mediterranean Tossed Salad and some Roasted Cherry Tomato & Caramelized Onion Bruschetta.
Mascarpone & Green Olive Tagliatelle
Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 25 minutes
300 grams Tagliatelle
3/4 Cup/180 ml cooking cream
1/2 Cup/120 ml water, reserved from cooked pasta
100 grams Mascarpone cheese
1/2 Head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 Leeks roughly sliced and chopped, green ends discarded
1/2 Cup/70 grams whole green olives
3/4 Cup/75 grams fresh grated parmesan cheese, extra for sprinkling over the top
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea salt to season
Fresh ground black pepper
Small bunch of fresh chopped parsley, extra for sprinkling over the top
In a large stainless steel pot set over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and leeks. Cook for about 8 - 10 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Turn off heat.
Steam the broccoli for about 10 minutes and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Turn the heat back on the pot with the cooked leaks. Add the cream and bring to a gentle boil, add mascarpone cheese and stir until it is completely smooth. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add pasta, broccoli, olives, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle over a little parmesan and fresh chopped parsley. Ready to serve!
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!