Got olives? Try tapenade at home

Try it: The flavors of olive tapenade pop in a surprising way when you make it at home.
Try it: The flavors of olive tapenade pop in a surprising way when you make it at home.
Bill Hogan / MCT

Main dish

Linguine with Green Olive Tapenade and Sausage

3/4 cup pitted green olives

1 clove garlic

1 anchovy fillet, rinsed

1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound linguine

4 Italian pork or turkey sausage links

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, pecorino Romano or aged Asiago

2 cups baby arugula leaves

For the tapenade, pulse the olives, garlic, anchovy, capers and lemon zest in a food processor to achieve a coarse paste. Add the olive oil if needed to achieve desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if needed.

Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine; cook, stirring to make sure the strands do not stick together or to the bottom of the pot, until al dente, 9-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the sausages in a skillet over medium heat until browned on all sides and cooked through. Slice into bite-size pieces, about a half-inch wide.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta in a bowl with the tapenade so the strands are lightly coated, adding pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Toss again with the sausage and cheese. Serve, topped with arugula. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 849 calories, 36 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 91 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein, 6 g fiber, 1,402 mg sodium.

Chicago Tribune

Olive tapenade, an earthy, salty paste of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and other flavorings, is easy to find jarred in specialty shops. But when you whip up a batch yourself at home, the flavors pop in a surprising way that makes you never want to buy it in a jar again.

I’d made tapenade before with dark olives, but never green. But recently when faced with an overabundance of green olives, I turned to the food processor. We had so many large green olives that I made a huge batch — then faced the problem of what to do with it all.

Although olive tapenade keeps well, it doesn’t keep forever. How to use it up? Pasta.

In this dish, the paste is tossed with linguine, then given a flavor boost and heft with rich sausage. Arugula at the end contributes freshness and zing. The tapenade proportions are based on experimentation. I basically thought of the ingredients that usually go into a jar, then played with the amounts. You could do that as well, adjusting with more capers or orange zest instead of lemon or what have you.

The key is to start with good quality olives from that olive bar at the grocery store.

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