While we are sheltering at home with more time than usual to cook, we are checking in with Napa Valley chefs for ideas to try.
This week, the recipe is from Chef Charlie Palmer, whose Charlie Palmer Steak Napa at the Archer Hotel Napa is closed temporarily.
“Not every meal that you cook for comfort has to made in a stew pot and bubbled away for hours,” Palmer said.
“There are times when something satisfying can come together quickly right out of the pantry, and this pasta fits that category brilliantly.
Like the Italian classic pasta puttenesca — so named because even a ‘woman of ill repute’ had the required ingredients on hand — this dish is something you can put together in a flash, saving the sauce for another time or cooking the whole meal in less than 20 minutes.”
Pasta with Green Olives and Walnuts
Chef Charlie Palmer
Charlie Palmer Steak Napa
1-1⁄2 cups olive oil
2 cups chopped walnuts
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1⁄2 cups chopped Sicilian green olives
Pinch of crushed red chili flakes
1-1⁄2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Fresh chives, snipped (if you have some)
1 pound rigatoni, or another pasta shape that has twists or ridges that can grab the sauce
In a 10-inch skillet, warm 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil over low heat. Add the walnuts and toast, stirring occasionally, until you can smell them, about 4 minutes.
Add the remainder of the olive oil and the garlic and cook, stirring well, until the garlic colors slightly, just a few minutes. Add the olives and chili flakes, stirring well. Remove from the heat.
Toss the olive mixture with the grated cheese and add those optional snipped chives for color and a little extra flavor bump.
Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Toss with the olive mixture, adding a bit of the pasta water if needed. Serve immediately with grated cheese for sprinkling.
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