I was flipping through a copy of Bon Appétit a few weeks ago, when I spotted this recipe. Don’t ask me what issue it was, because I don’t want to have to admit how many months I fell behind this summer. It was a 2015 issue, though. So, almost okay.
But I saw this recipe and I knew, right away, that this was The One. The One is that recipe that you think about for days and weeks until you finally scratch the itch and cook it and eat it and revel in it.
There’s been a lot of reveling over this recipe in our house. I cooked it two weeks back-to-back, and I may be bold and cook it AGAIN next week. I know, big stuff!
You see, this recipe was meant for me. Pasta is my favorite food. Olives are also my favorite food. Parmigiano reggiano is my other favorite food. I have a lot of favorites, and they’ve all combined to make this dish THE ULTIMATE FAVORITE. With caps and all! That’s how reckless and fancy-free this recipe makes me feel.
The other thing worth noticing here is that this recipe is stupid easy. It is really quite stupid how easy it is, and I am really quite stupid for not coming up with it myself. This is exactly why I leave the recipe development up to my authors and the big guns at BA.
You can make this recipe at any time, with simple pantry ingredients. I love minimalist, pantry pastas like this–it’s all about stocking the right ingredients then tossing them together with good quality pasta. (Get the bronze-extruded stuff. The texture is worth it.) And then voilà! You are sitting on the couch eating a giant bowl of pasta and grinning like an idiot.
So, get ready to grin like an idiot.
Linguine with Olives and Parsley
Ready in 30 minutes
You will need:
1 cup olives (green or kalamatas, or a mix of the two)
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped basil
2 small garlic cloves
1 pound linguine
1 tablespoon plus ½ cup olive oil
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about two lemons)
Salt & pepper
Set a large pot of water to boil. As it heats, pit your olives (if necessary) and roughly chop them. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and basil, then add olives, parsley, and basil to a large serving bowl. Mince the garlic cloves, sprinkle with coarse salt, and using the side of a chef’s knife, grind the garlic and salt into a rough paste. Add to the serving bowl, along with ½ cup of olive oil and mix well, adding salt and pepper to your taste.
Your water should be boiling by now, so toss in the linguine and a heaping tablespoon of salt. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, add the panko, and toast until golden brown. Zest one lemon (you want about one teaspoon of zest) into the breadcrumbs.
When the linguine is al dente, drain and reserve ½ cup of the starchy cooking water. Add pasta to the serving bowl and toss, incorporating the parmigiano and water as needed until the sauce coats the pasta. Add the lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with the panko, another drizzle of olive oil, and more parm.
Adapted and simplified from this Bon Appétit recipe.