1 red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick and julienned
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 pound imported Italian spaghetti
2/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained with oil reserved and julienned
1/2 cup dry-cured black olives, pitted and slivered
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked in warm water 10 minutes and drained
1/4 cup dried currants, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
Leaves from ½ bunch basil, cut into chiffonade, about 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon each of sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
- In a small saute' pan, combine the onion, garlic, and ¼ cup olive oil over very low heat and cook for 10 minutes. They should not sizzle.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, 8-12 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, finish preparing the sauce.
- In a large, warmed bowl, combine the onion mixture, tomatoes, olives, capers, currants, basil, salt, and pepper. Measure the oil reserved from the tomatoes and add olive oil as needed to total ¼ cup. Add to the bowl and mix together well.
- When the pasta is ready, drain it, add to the bowl, and toss to coat with sauce. Divide among warmed individual bowls. Top with the cheese and serve at once.
Reviewer's note: the sauce can be prepared several hours ahead except for the chiffonade, allowed to marinate covered at room temperature, then gently warm it, add the chiffonade to the bowl, and add the pasta as above. This lets the flavors develop and meld.
Recipe courtesy of "The Olive Harvest Cookbook," written by Gerald Gass with Jacqueline Mallorca, Chronicle Books, 2004