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Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has been a staple in our home for years. Not only do I love the different flavors it add to my dishes, EVOO also has many uses outside the kitchen. Oh and don’t forget about the countless health benefits.
Recently, the authenticity of olive oil available in the market has been in the news. This gave rise to the Flavor Your Life campaign. It is an initiative supported by the European Union Unaprol and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture which is dedicated to providing the latest in industry news on European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The program also aims to educate US consumers so they can make informed decisions when purchasing EVOO.
Did you know?
- Olive oil comes from a fruit (also called drupe) of a plant called Olea Europaea or European Olive.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by pressing without heat or chemicals. It represents the freshest and purest olive oil available.
- The type of olive tree, region where it came from and time of harvest all have great impact on the taste of an olive oil. Spanish oil are usually yellow in color and has a fruity, nutty flavor. Italian oil are often dark green and has an herbal aroma and grassy flavor. While Greek olive oil packs a strong flavor and aroma and tends to be green.
- Olive oil has a high smoke point (400F) so it can handle light saute, deep frying and even baking.
- To keep olive oil in it’s finest, it should be stored somewhere dark and cool (around 57 F if possible. Avoid putting it on the counter top, near a stove or inside the refrigerator.
Great Olive Oil = Great Dish
In my experience as an ardent olive oil user, a good quality olive oil has a big impact on the flavor and taste of any dish. This pasta recipe for instance, only requires simple ingredients but the flavors are complex and hands down delicious. I have specifically used Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this Gluten Free Sausage and Peppers Pasta and I have to say, the end product was definitely delectable.
If you are not familiar with the Zucchi brand, it is a 200 year old company that has been owned and managed by the Zucchi family for seven generations. The brand is committed to creating the highest quality oils by sourcing from top olive oil growers and blending their oils in an artisanal manner.
1 16 oz package of Gluten Free Fusilli Pasta
5 links Wegman’s Mild Italian Sausage, sliced
1 big yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tbs. Zucchi extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. Italian season
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
enough water to cook the pasta
1. In a big stock pot, cook the pasta until al dente. Here’s how I cook the perfect Gluten free pasta.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a big skillet, brown the sausage.
3. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. In the same pan saute the onions and bell peppers in 1 Tbs. of olive oil for 3 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
6. Add the cooked sausage and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
7. Season with salt, ground black pepper and Italian seasonings.
8. Stir in the cooked pasta. Mix well and turn off the heat.
9. Sprinkle with the basil leaves just before serving.