I thought it might be fun cooking some recipes together this year. Recipes that are new to me and probably also for you. I have an ongoing list of recipes that I want to try from cookbooks, magazines, websites, and e-books, and this pasta with Etruscan sauce has been high on the list for some time. I discovered it when I saw Vicky Bennison's Pasta Grannies series on You Tube. It was the sauce in the video with nna Luigina in La Vialla, an agriturismo near Arezzo, Italy, that caught me. A quick puree of sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, parsley and garlic is tossed with pasta. It's fast, strong, adaptable, and doesn't disappoint.
The video Pasta Grannies shows how to make a handmade Pici pasta served with the Etruscan sauce. If you have time and inclination, definitely do the pici! It's one of my favorite pasta shapes, easy to make, even if you've never tried to make fresh pasta. That said, I was a bit pinched when I cooked this and instead reached for a box of ruffled radiatori noodles. The Etruscan sauce was wonderfully caught in every ridge and curve, and there was no regret. If you are Italian and upset about my pasta choice, I apologize in advance. It may not be "right", but it was definitely delicious.
I looked through much of the Pasta Grannies archive (I love them all!) And was lucky enough to meet series creator Vicky when she came to Los Angeles to promote the Pasta Grannies cookbook at w Serving. If you haven't seen it yet, keep your eyes open. I am so inspired by these women and the book with its stories is such a nice companion to the video series. If you're more of an Instagram person than you tube, you'll also find Vicky & Pasta Grannies here.
Back to the recipe – the sauce is a kind of tapenade that becomes (a little) thinner when you add it to the pasta together with some reserved pasta water. As the recipe is written below, there is still a good amount left. Here you will find a brief brainstorming session on other possible uses.
For starters, this is a sauce that's A + flat and breaded or toasted on all things – crostini, flatbread, pizza, paratha, sandwiches, etc. You can add a dollop to a bowl of beans to get a quick bean salad. I threw a spoonful of strong salads for a side salad for lunch, so good. And you won't regret combining it with fried artichokes. Let me know more ideas in the comments.
I like the idea of taking this page back to its roots – cooking according to inspiring recipes and cookbooks, vintage & contemporary. That will be the topic this year. And I think it will be more fun if we cook recipes together! If you make this pasta in the next week or two, send a note or tag a photo or video on Instagram so I can see it (@heidijswanson // # 101cookbooks)! I regret helpful tips, photos, insights, ideas and riffs that we develop together. I will also post some video clips in my "Highlights" tomorrow if you want to see how pasta with Etruscan sauce came together for me.
For more pasta recipes, for more vegetarian recipes.