Olive Oil Season in California Wine Country

Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Capers
This recipe is from the Olive Harvest Cookbook by Gerald Gass, executive chef at McEvoy Ranch.

1 red onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick and julienned
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra if needed
1 pound high-quality imported Italian spagetti
2/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, with oil reserved and julienned
1/2 cup dry-cured black olive, pitted and julienned
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh basil, cut in chiffonade (about 1 cup)
1/2 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and/or chiffonade-cut basil for serving (optional).

In a small sauté pan, combine the onion, garlic, and ¼ cup olive oil over very low heat and warm for 10 minutes. The onion and garlic should not sizzle.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water until al dente, 8-12 minutes, or according to package directions. 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 extra virgin 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 sauce, and toss to coat well. Divide among warmed individual bowls. Top with the cheese and/or basil, if desired, and serve at once.

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