Calabrian Chile Gemelli or Penne with Olives

The most overrated tool: a pasta maker. Why make it when you can buy it? It’s a lot of work!
Ina Garten

So the farm stands are bursting with wonderful fruits and veggies and for starters, we buy a lot of tomatoes and with so many varieties to choose from it is easy to come up with main and side dishes all summer long. Since we found the best “one slice” tomatoes hardly a day has gone by without a tomato sandwich or salad of some kind, but today a pasta side dish was at the top of my list so as to contribute to the theme of the week at the cooking club and easy perky version that would go well with any Tuscan grilled chicken or steak.

I planned on adding Calabrian peppers flakes and Calabrian paste or spread as the main ingredient that really adds a lot of flavor and spice to the dish, but taste as you go as it can get spicy…I add a tablespoon of the sauce at a time and just a pinch of the flakes was enough for 8 cut tomatoes.

Giada has a video out there on YouTube, but she doesn’t give all of the amounts of the ingredients hence the taste as you go when seasoning the pasta.

My Ingredients: Enough for 4 as a side dish:

8 ounces gemelli or penne pasta
3 cups of water
10″ sauté pan or skillet
about 3-4 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives
8 or so Campari tomatoes, quartered

*optional tablespoon of capers
8 or so green Italian olives with garlic and olive oil, sliced
Romano cheese about 3/4 cup
freshly chopped parsley & basil
Drizzles of EVOO
salt and pepper

Look for Giada’s Calabrian Chile Pasta recipe on Youtube for the basic recipe video…oh and take note of the pasta cooking method for her 1 pound of pasta. Quarter tomatoes and place in a bowl, add the chopped chives, pinch of Calabrian Chile flakes and sauce of paste blend, taste, season with pepper and set a side. Hold off on the salt since the cheese is salty.

Cook pasta al dente, add the cheese to hot pasta in the pan, thoroughly blend, and then toss in the seasoned tomatoes. Gently toss, taste for seasoning, serve with parsley garnish and drizzle EVOO over the pasta.