New Oil – just pressed - is a treasure that needs the right dish to be paired with to showcase it in all its unctuous velvety goldenness. Whether the oil comes from Northern Italy, Southern Italy, Central Italy, Sicily or Sardinia, it needs to be presented simply, letting the oil shine (no pun intended!).
The Thought: “Tutte le strade conducono a Roma” – every street will take you to Rome – immediately came to mind when I thought of ways to use Olio Nuovo… because, two of my favorite ways are with Roman specialties!
Whenever we go to Rome we always eat at least once at Di Rienzo - a wonderful restaurant across from the Pantheon. I always have”Cacio e Pepe” - Spaghetti with cheese and pepper…Such a simple pasta but, the ingredients must be the best! A superb dish to drizzle Olio Nuovo on just before your first bite!!! It’s not a traditional thing to do…BUT, what a glorious delight!
And, of course, there is the “Bucatini all’Amatriciana”…served at every Roman Restaurant, Osteria and Trattoria…Pasta with spicy tomato sauce! I substitute Olio Nuovo for the olive oil that I usually use to sauté the guanciale in and save it until the last...for drizzling over the completed dish before serving...not for the sauté! It is a wonderful use for this very special oil!
A third way to use the new oil is in a special cake I make for Thanksgiving at home – Lemon-Almond Cake. Substitute Olio Nuovo for the oil in the ingredient list …Splendido!
My recipes for them below…Buon Appetito!
Cacio e Pepe
1 lb. Spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4-5 tablespoons Olio Nuovo
Combine the Pecorino and black pepper. Cook the pasta to aldente. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add the hot pasta to the cheese and pepper. Toss quickly adding as much of the pasta water as needed to make the pasta creamy. Drizzle with the Olio Nuovo and serve.
1 pound Bucatini pasta…or other tubed pasta
4 oz. guanciale or pancetta, cut into cubes
1 crushed red chile or red pepper flakes to taste
½ cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce whole tomatoes – chopped, with juice
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
4 – 5 tablespoon Olio Nuovo
In a large skillet, sauté the guanciale slowly until the fat has rendered and it is browned – 4-5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes or chile and the wine. Let reduce for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer until thickened. The sauce may be made a few days ahead.
Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce and the Pecorino. Drizzle with the Olio Nuovo and serve.
1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1 teas. baking powder
¾ cup sugar
¼ teas. salt
½ cup light olive oil – use Olio Nuovo if possible
½ cup butter
1 8-oz. can Almond Paste – cut into cubes
Zest of one lemon
1/3 – 1/2 cup Amaretto Liqueur or Limoncello
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan. Cream the butter, oil, sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the almond paste and the lemon zest and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the flour baking powder mixture. Stir to blend.
Place cake mixture in the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until browned and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center. While warm, brush with the Amaretto or Limoncello. Chill. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.