Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Garden Pasta Alla Hermes

My Merry Band of Tasters and I were treated to this colorful dish for lunch at the Di Mercurio family’s farm, and master miller Duccio Morozzo and I liked it so much we decided to recreate it back in his Roman kitchen. The tomato purée we used is called passata. Find it at larger supermarkets or online. Back in the US we also use high-quality crushed tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1/2 small eggplant, stemmed, peeled, and diced
  • 1/2 small zucchini, stemmed and diced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, and diced
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) uncooked rigatoni
  • 3 cups high-quality jarred tomato purée or crushed tomatoes
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving

Directions

Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into a cold saucepan. Add the bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, onion, and a pinch or two of salt. Sauté the vegetables until they’re soft and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 2

In the meantime, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package directions.

Step 3

Stir the tomato purée into the vegetables and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Purée the sauce with a stick blender until it’s fairly smooth. Season with additional salt, if desired. Drain the rigatoni and add to the sauce. Gently stir to combine. Transfer to a warmed shallow bowl and serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, hot red pepper flakes, and extra olive oil for drizzling.

Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Monkfish with Olive Oil and Tomatoes

Sometimes called “poor man’s lobster,” mild, sweet-tasting monkfish has a pleasantly rm texture. Fancy enough for a dinner party, it simply begs for a drizzle of exquisitely fresh EVOO. Serve with a mixed green salad lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds monkfish
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Directions

Step 1

Slice the monkfish into medallions about 1 inch thick. Place in a dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet, add the bread crumbs, and sauté until they are golden. Remove from the pan and wipe out the pan.

Step 3

Heat another two tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until tender. Add the garlic and sauté briefly, then add the tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes in with the other ingredients for a minute or two, just long enough to warm them without cooking them through. Remove the vegetables from the pan.

Step 4

Add one more tablespoon of the oil to the pan and cook the monkfish over medium heat, about three minutes on each side, until just cooked through. The monkfish will probably not take on any color. Arrange the monkfish medallions on a warm platter or on individual plates.

Step 5

Return the tomato mixture to the skillet, add the remaining two tablespoons of oil, stir, season with salt and pepper, and add the basil. Pour this mixture around the medallions of fish. Sprinkle the fish with the bread crumbs and serve.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from nytimes.com

Turkey Roulade with Prunes and Prosciutto

On my recent trip, I noticed stuffed turkey breast on a couple of occasions and was determined to make it in my home kitchen. While some people might be tempted to make a pan gravy from the drippings, I prefer to splash extra virgin olive oil on my turkey—the sauce of the gods!

Ingredients

  • One 3-pound boneless turkey breast with skin
  • 15 to 20 dried prunes
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water

Directions

Step 1

Using a sharp knife, buttery the turkey breast and open it up like a book. Sandwich the breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet to a uniform thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and season the breast with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Lay the prosciutto slices down the center of the breast. Scatter the prunes, sage leaves, and pistachios on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

Step 3

Roll the breast into a compact log, then tie at 2-inch intervals with butcher’s twine. (Discard the plastic wrap.) Rub the roulade with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 4

Place a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Lay the turkey roulade on the rack and pour the chicken stock in the bottom of the pan. Roast until the internal temperature of the roulade on an instant-read meat thermometer reads 160°F, 60 to 75 minutes.

Step 5

Let the roulade rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. (Use an electric or serrated knife to carve the turkey breast.) Offer additional olive oil at the table.

Serves 6 to 8 — Recipe adapted from Radically Simple by Rozanne Gold (Rodale Books, 2010)

Pork with Green Sauce (Maiale con Salsa Verde)

Not to be confused with Mexican salsa verde, the Italian version of green sauce is a bright-tasting condiment made with parsley, garlic, capers, and extra virgin olive oil. Here, we’ve paired it with pork. But it’s a versatile sauce that can accompany a variety of meats and seafood.

Ingredients

For the salsa verde:

  • 1 cup packed at-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 anchovy fillet, coarsely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons drained brined capers
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

For the pork:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2 pounds total, trimmed of fat and silver skin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2

Rub the pork tenderloins on all sides with extra virgin olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron or other oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloin until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side, 8 minutes in all. Place the skillet with the meat in the oven.

Step 3

Roast the tenderloins until the internal temperature is 145°F, 10 to 12 minutes, or as needed. (The meat will still be slightly pink inside. Roast longer if you prefer your pork more done.)

Step 4

In the meantime, make the salsa verde: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and run the machine until well combined.

Step 5

Carve the pork tenderloin into 1/2-inch slices and arrange on a platter. Serve with the salsa verde.

Serves 6 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club