Tag Archives: black olives

Antipasto Salad

Antipasto 002

I had the opportunity to visit Italy several years ago, and one thing I remember is that they made eating an event. There are potentially more courses in a menu than I could even begin to need, but the main eating seems to be the Antipasto course, followed by the Primo course- which is pasta, and then the Secundo course, which is meat based. It is easy to see where Antipasto got its name, coming before the pasta course.

Antipasto is typically cold dishes, and features meats, cheeses and vegetables. In the United States, we will typically have small plates of Salami or Pepperoni, Boconcini or Mozzarella, marinated Artichoke hearts, Olives, and Pepperoncini.

Rather than having multiple small dishes of different foods, this recipe suggests mixing the foods together in a salad. Let me be clear- this recipe is not a fixed specification like most recipes, but is just a starting point for ideas of what to include in an Antipasto Salad. You should add and subtract to make the salad your idea of what gives you the taste of Italy.

Antipasto Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh Basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 small head Romaine
  • 6 oz. roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
  • 8 oz. Pepperoncini, drained, and stemmed
  • 8 oz. marinated boconcini or mozzarella, cut into small chunks
  • 6 oz. sliced pepperoni or salami
  • 6 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved (if whole)
  • 1 cup oil-cured black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

  • Combine the Basil leaves and vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth
  • Cut the Romaine into 1 inch pieces
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
  • Best when served with a crusty bread


Just a suggestion: If you are going to include the pepperoncini, I would suggest cutting them into rings rather than leaving them whole. They are easier to eat as part of the salad, rather than picking them up by themselves.
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Again, the above is just a suggestion and a hint of what you might like from the small antipasto dishes to go into your salad. Or you might even want to leave something out, like the pepperoncini if you don’t like the heat.

Spaghetti Marco Polo

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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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.


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