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Kalamata Olive Tapenade with Feta & Chopped Tomato
From More Pasta Presto, by Norman Kolpas

Tapenade, the quickly blended Provençale dip, gets an Aegean twist in this recipe, which partners an aromatic paste of briny Greek black olives with sweet pieces of ripe tomato and small cubes of the eastern Mediterranean's pungent Greek sheep's milk cheese. You'll find Kalamata olives sold by weight in the deli cases of well-stocked supermarkets, as well as in jars; some brands may be found already pitted. Substitute any other brine-cured Mediterranean olives you like. Serve with spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle, or other medium-width strands or ribbons.

Ingredients:

3/4 pound pasta
1 pound Kalamata olives, pitted (about 2 cups)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup drained capers
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp dried oregano
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled or cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
4 large roma tomatoes, halved, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente, following the manufacturer's suggested cooking time.

While the pasta cooks, put the olives, olive oil, garlic, parsley, capers, lemon juice, and oregano in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Turning the machine on and off rapidly, pulse the ingredients a few times, then scrape down the work bowl and process continuously until the mixture forms a coarse but uniform paste.

As soon as the pasta is done, drain it and immediately toss with the tapenade and one-half of the feta and one-half of the tomatoes. Top with the remaining feta and serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

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