An elevated and twisty pasta meal is made smokin’ hot with gouda, chicken, roasted red peppers, and kalamata olives!Main Course / April 1, 2022
As a child, my sisters and I used to try and use a hula-hoop. Go ahead and ‘YouTube’ the term if you want a true laugh. It wasn’t an easy thing to master but we had no smartphones or streaming entertainment to keep us inside, so a toy that required a couple of days to master was a welcome event.
After using it, I think one’s physiology required a special genetic hip joint to execute this properly. (Ow.)
A little before my era, teenagers were gyrating to the Chubby Checker song, “The Twist.” It’s like we were obsessed with spiralizing. But when your cartilage is soft, anything moves with ease. It was decades after that I remember thinking that the twirly metal protrusion from a corkscrew looked a lot like our hips and shoulders as we tried our best to twist and twist and twist! And since all of this is the prelude to my subject matter of a recipe, I should have known than the Italians did better than all of us when expressing twisting: They did it through food.
The word Cavatappi — the pasta featured in this dish — literally means corkscrew. It really does look like one as well. It is a pasta made without egg and is tubular; a sort of double-helix macaroni noodle, perfect for catching all that cheesy sauce goodness and highlighting the Olive This! Smoked Olive Wood Olive Oil.
So how is it I made the jump from wood smoke to creamy pasta? By first roasting the red pepper in Olive This! Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil until charred, we intensified all the flavors. Also, by sprinkling a bit in the pasta water, using it to sauté the garlic, and then adding a drizzle of it atop the final dish, this ingredient is about as center stage as you can get. And let’s give a hand to the smoked Gouda, taking a bow for being the absolute best, creamy, gooey, pasta-partner ever.
Before ending this blog, I’ll tell you I took a bit of a shortcut and used rotisserie chicken, cooked, skinned, and then pulled from the bones to bypass the extra step of roasting your own chicken. Although I will tell you, your own roasted chicken often yields three times the meat a pre-cooked, store-bought bird will. And it’s less money per bite. But in the interest of time, I curled, bent, and twisted my way to deliciousness once again!