Black Olive Fusilli Salad
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Black Olive Fusilli SaladA delicious and filling salad from the famous restaurant “Olives” in Boston modified to accommodate our tastes.  Serve it on its own or with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

 
Ingredients:  4 to 6 servings

500 g. pasta, such as small size Fusilli or small size Penne

For black olive sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 garlic cloves thinly sliced

4 anchovy fillets 
3 tablespoons capers

2 cups pitted cured black olives (see note below)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, (try less first and add according to taste)

2 tablespoons dried thyme (French thyme available in small jars)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For decoration

Cherry tomatoes

Fresh Mozzarella cheese preserved in water, cut into small cubes

Fresh French or Lebanese thyme leaves


1. Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a boil over high heat, add pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.

2. To prepare olive sauce:  Place oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry garlic few seconds, add anchovy fillets, capers, and olives and fry mixture stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Transfer the olive mixture to a food processor and pulse till fine.

4. Add gradually the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil through the feed tube while the machine is running.

5. Add vinegar, salt, black pepper, and dried thyme, and process until the mixture is completely smooth, cool to room temperature.

To finish salad and serve: 

1. Toss pasta with the olive sauce.  (Recipe may be prepared to this stage a day before, refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving).

2. Place on a serving plate and garnish with cherry tomatoes, cubed Mozzarella, and fresh thyme leaves. Serve at room temperature.

NB:

The taste of olives has a great effect on the whole dish, extra care should be taken to avoid bitter, very salty, or sour black olives which may spoil the whole salad, taste the olives before buying them.