Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Black Olives and Anchovies
- 4 large sun-ripened tomatoes, 2 to 2 1/2 lb. total weight
- 1 C. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 oz. fresh parsley, stems discarded
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
- 1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
- 1/3 C. pitted, coarsely chopped cured black olives
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. uncooked bite-sized pasta such as bowties, corkscrews or medium shells
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and water. With a small, sharp knife, cut out the cores of the tomatoes and, on the opposite end of each, score a shallow X in its skin. When the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon or wire skimmer to lower the tomatoes into the water. When their skins begin to wrinkle, after 30 to 45 seconds, lift them out with the spoon or skimmer and transfer them to the ice water to cool.
As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use your fingertips and, if necessary, the knife to peel them, starting at the X. Cut each tomato crosswise in half and, with your fingertip or the handle of a small spoon, scoop out and discard their seed sacs. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. In a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, combine the olive oil, parsley, garlic cloves, anchovy fillets and red pepper flakes. Process until uniformly pureed. Pour the puree into the mixing bowl with the tomatoes. Add the olives. Season to taste with the sugar, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy, following the manufacturer's suggested cooking time. Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the bowl of other ingredients. Add the chopped fresh parsley leaves and toss well. Spoon the pasta into individual large, shallow serving bowls. Top each serving with a little freshly grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
(Chef Wolfgang Puck's new TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)
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