Now here is a spaghetti dish with lots of earthy flavor, but not tomato or milk based. And it is easily expanded for a large crowd.
We originally got this recipe from the 1972 Julia Child television show on PBS. Since then, I have searched a lot of recipes called Marco Polo, but never found this exact recipe. It is again a case that you really can’t improve on the classic base.
When I made this recipe the other day, I was surprised at how much “sauce” it made, and how it totally covered the spaghetti. From that experience, I have a couple suggestions. One would be to not be afraid to double the amount of spaghetti to a full 16 ounces, and the second would be to not be afraid to stir the “sauce” into the spaghetti instead of leaving it on top. My memories of when Marlys made the recipe is that the spaghetti showed through on top, and wasn’t completely covered with “sauce”, and since there were four of us eating, she might have doubled the amount of spaghetti anyway.
My personal choice is not to sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the serving dish, but to put it on the table and let each person sprinkle the amount they want on their serving of the dish.
Spaghetti Marco Polo
(Julia Child, TV Program 1972)
- 8 oz. spaghetti
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped black olives
- 1/2 cup red pimento (no vinegar flavor)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup chopped, fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, pureed
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the spaghetti.
Make the sauce by mixing together in a bowl the walnuts, olives, pimento, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In the cooking pan put the olive oil and garlic. Stir over moderate heat. Return spaghetti to pan and toss with the oil & garlic.
Transfer to serving plate and top with the “sauce”. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves two generously.