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Lemons and Olives

November 17, 2012

“Making Lemonade” was featured in the Wichita Center for the Arts Small Oil Painting exhibition Sept. 7- October 21 this year– although Im not making lemonade the recipe this time. It was a slight struggle not to do something sweet with a lemon thoughImage– its one of those foods that can very easily be savory or sweet. Taking more cues from my piece itself the word “lemonade” is scrawled in the background, and has a written, but almost spaghetti, or fettuccine feel to it. Lemon + Pasta was first- then taking cues from the green olive color- Lemon+ Pasta+Olives was the final. Sometimes the food to art connection is more conceptual- but this time its pretty literal, the lemons were simply shouting to be used!

Lemon & Olive Fettuccine

(optional:-with Grilled salmon)


1 pound whole wheat or regular fettuccine

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 large cloves garlic thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 lemons- zested and juiced

1 cup sliced mixed pitted olives (manzanilla, kalamata, sicilian, etc)

1 cup grated Parmesan

½ cup loosely chopped flat leaf parsley

½ cup loosely chopped fresh basil

salt  & pepper to taste

optional: four 4 oz salmon fillets, additional 3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil, add dry pasta, return to a boil.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat- add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, then sauté garlic and red pepper until garlic becomes fragrant and translucent, then add 1 cup of the starchy pasta water to the skillet from the boiling pasta pot.
  3.  Add lemon zest and olives to the skillet, turn heat to low.
  4. Once pasta is cooked al dente, reserve another cup of the starchy water and set aside, drain pasta and toss into skillet
  5. Add fresh basil, parsley, lemon juice and ¾ cup of Parmesan to fettuccine and toss entire mixture together in skillet. Taste mixture and re-season if needed, (more pepper flakes, more oil, etc.) If pasta is a little dry add more of the reserved starchy water and/or oil to the skillet. Use remaining ¼ parmesan to top pasta just before serving.
  6. If using salmon fillets- season them with salt and pepper, then heat a skillet on medium heat  with 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Place fillets in skillet and sear on one side, turn on other side , add a splash of water and cover until done about 6-8 minutes. An additional squirt of lemon juice can be added once salmon is done.Image

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