The weather these past few days has been a dull gloomy gray. Although there have been patches of sunlight in the afternoon, the general effect has one of sluggishness and lassitude. It's the perfect time to go out in search of bold flavors to perk up our palates and our general outlook on life.
Alex created the green olive puree which is bright and acidic, complex and flavorful. It makes your mouth water and your fingers itch for flour and water, pasta and dough. Yesterday we made both, it was a celebration of wheat. We enjoyed every last bite from the toothsome cavatelli to the crisp and tender slices of bread. Slightly tired looking peppers, celery, and a lime were transformed into a succulent crunchy salad to balance the complex marriage of crust and crumb. Paired with silky hummus and red wine this homely repast was feast in and of itself.
The other star of the day was pasta. Chewy green olive cavatelli paired with peeled baby tomatoes, spicy leaves of arugula, and Percorino Crotonese, a haunting sheep's milk cheese scattered in random shards across the composition. Everything is easily assembled from market and garden, the only item not easily procured is the pasta. The puree, as mentioned yesterday is simply green olives and the citrus of your choice, pressure cooked and pureed to a smooth, spreadable consistency. If I had my druthers I might tart it up with a bit of spice and smoke, perhaps a ground up chipotle pepper or two swirled into the mix. However, this first incarnation was pure olive and yuzu, an elegant combination to form the flavor spine of my dough. Making pasta is so simple that whether you do it by hand or by machine, you'll know it was worth the effort when you sit down to taste it.
Green Olive Cavatelli
3 cups AP flour
6 tablespoon green olive puree
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 ounces of warm water
Pulse the flour, green olive puree and baking powder i the bowl of food processor. Add the water all at once and process to a soft, firm dough. Turn out onto a an un-floured counter top and knead until silky and cool. Wrap with plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes before forming into cavatelli. Lay the finished pasta out on a lightly floured sheet tray and cook immediately or freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cavatelli to a ziploc bag and keep frozen until ready to use.