Mostaccioli in the greek style

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1½ cup Kalamata olives; (8.75 oz.)
¼ cup Fresh rosemary; snipped
5 quarts Cold water
2 tablespoons Salt
1¼ pounds Zucchini; medium-size
2 pounds Plum tomatoes; firm-ripe
1 pounds Mostaccioli; or penne
3 \N Cloves garlic; minced
½ cup Pine nuts
2 tablespoons Olive oil; fruity kind
1 large Orange; zest of
\N \N Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces Feta cheese
\N \N More fruity olive oil
\N \N Coarse sea salt

If the olives are canned, drain them, saving the brine. Lay the olives on your board and gently press down on each with the flat side of a large heavy knife, lightly crushing the olive. Pull open the olive, and the pit will pop out. If not using them that day, put the olives in a jar with brine, cover, and refrigerate.

About an hour before serving, start the preparation, placing each ingredient in a dish. Drain the olives. Strip leaves from 2 to 3 rosemary branches into a small deep bowl. Snip the leaves with scissors into ⅛- to ¼-in. pieces, and measure ¼ cup.

Combine the water and salt in a large pot, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Rinse and trim the zucchini, then cut each squash in half crosswise. Using a mandoline, vegetable julienne mill, or a sharp heavy knife, cut each piece lengthwise into ¼-in.-square strips.

Wash the tomatoes and trim out stem scars. Cut lengthwise in quarters, then crosswise in half. Working in 3 or 4 batches, pulse each batch of tomatoes in a food processor or chop by hand until pieces are roughly ½ in.

When the water comes to a boil, uncover and add the zucchini. Stir and return the water to a boil, uncovered. When the water boils, immediately scoop out the zucchini pieces with a strainer, turning them into your serving bowl. Add the pasta to the pot, stir well, and cover. Meanwhile, smash, peel, and mince the garlic cloves.

Heat a large heavy (preferably non-stick) dry skillet. Add the pine nuts and shake over high heat until lightly toasted, about 2 min. Turn into a bowl and reserve. Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat, then add the tomatoes, olives, rosemary, and garlic and stir until well blended.

Continue cooking these vegetables, uncovered, over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is ready.

When the pasta water returns to a boil, remove the lid, stir the pasta vigorously, and set the timer for 10 min. Continue stirring both pots.

Remove the zest from the orange in long shreds, preferably with a zester.

When the timer rings, test the pasta. It should be al dente, or close to it. Add the zucchini to the tomatoes, raise the heat to high, and stir well.

When the pasta is done, drain it, letting the water fall into the serving bowl, to heat it. Dump out the water, then add the mostaccioli. Add the vegetables and pine nuts, grind pepper over all, crumble the feta on, and sprinkle with orange zest. Take your time and toss the mixture carefully and thoroughly. Serve, passing the olive oil for adding highlights to each portion, if desired. Some may wish a pinch of salt for seasoning.

Serve this pasta in large hot soup plates and eat with big spoons while sipping a robust red wine. A tossed salad of bitter greens like chicory or escarole might follow, then lemon ice and crisp cookies for dessert.

~ -- Sylvia Thompson is a contributing editor to Kitchen Garden. From Kitchen Garden v⅑, pp. 40-41. Kitchen Garden is published by Taunton Press...they own Fine Cooking (and other mags) too. Website:

Recipe by: Kitchen Garden Magazine, v⅑ Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by badams <adamsfmle@...> on Feb 03, 1998

Similar recipes