This post was created in partnership with Colavita. All opinions are our own.
A funny thing happened on the way to the mailbox last night. Our small, cozy home rests at the bottom of a long, steep driveway, so every time we check the mail or take out the trash, it’s like climbing up the side of Mount Everest. But we love where we live. Yesterday evening during our daily ascent up the hill, a full moon lit the sky, and two great-horned owls were hooting in the trees. When we arrived at the mailbox, we noticed a small shape across the street running towards us in the dark. This mystery creature didn’t show any signs of slowing down, and as it grew closer we could see bright streaks of black and white flashing in the moonlight. At that moment, it became terrifyingly obvious that this curious animal was indeed a skunk. We both froze, hoping it would turn the other way, but it kept coming towards us. We said some prayers and a few other words that can’t be repeated here, then panicked and sprinted back to the house as fast as we could. We didn’t get the mail and we didn’t get sprayed, but we got a good workout and a dose of excitement for the day. With all the coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, owls, opossums, hawks, small snakes, and lizards roaming our neighborhood, it seems more like the Serengeti than Los Angeles. But temperatures are starting to sizzle, reminding us that summer has arrived—this is clearly not Africa, and the Hollywood Bowl is just twenty minutes away.
School’s out, surf’s up, and this new recipe has us walking on sunshine. Summer celebrations have already begun and we have the perfect dish to make you twist and shout. If you like classic pasta salad and love traditional Italian Cacio e Pepe, you are going to fall head over heels with our new creation. Pop the convertible, dance to the music, and say hello darlin’ to Cacio e Pepe Summer Pasta Salad.
Colorful and delicious, this simple pasta salad comes together in just minutes. It’s easy to prepare: you just boil the pasta, then mix everything together in one bowl, and that’s it. It’s been a pleasure partnering with Colavita this year. They are a family brand with a passion for producing the highest quality ingredients, and today we are cooking with their aromatic Roasted Garlic Olive Oil. It’s delicious on everything: grilled cheese sandwiches, kimchi quesadillas, burritos, roasted vegetables, and anything you’re looking to enhance with a hint of roasted garlic flavor. In this festive recipe, fusilli pasta is tossed with seasonal cherry tomatoes, diced zucchini, orange bell pepper, red onion, grated parmesan, and fresh basil. Drizzled with Colavita Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and plenty of black pepper, this vibrant dish is a party in a bowl. Watch your guests as they hover over this pulchritudinous pasta, then blow their minds and surprise them with our rich and decadent Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Espresso Frosting. It will be a fete you will never forget… just don’t forget to invite us!
Cacio e Pepe Summer Pasta Salad
Serves 8 to 10 as a side
1 pound (454 g) dried fusilli pasta
200 grams (about 2 cups) grated parmesan cheese
5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (160 g) halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup (145 g) diced zucchini
1 cup (160 g) diced orange bell pepper
1/4 cup (37 g) diced red onion
2 handfuls fresh basil (about 15 g), chopped
3/4 cup (177 ml) Colavita Roasted Garlic Olive Oil (see note)
Bring a large pot of salted water (use 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water) to a boil over high heat. Add the fusilli, return to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package directions, usually about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain into a colander and rinse the pasta with cold water until room temperature.
Transfer the cooled pasta to a large bowl, then add the parmesan cheese, black pepper, water, and salt. Toss to combine and coat the pasta evenly, then add the tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, red onion, basil, and roasted garlic olive oil and continue tossing until evenly combined. Taste for salt, pepper, and cheese, and adjust as needed. Serve room temperature or chilled, and enjoy!
— Colavita Roasted Garlic Olive Oil is available in stores and online.