1/3 cup of Carter & Cavero Hojiblanca extra-virgin olive oil or another robust olive oil
1 1/2  – 2 teaspoons of Spaghettata spices
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cut into slices (use broccoli for a vegetarian version)

1 lb. of Umbricelli pasta
1 tsp. of salt for the pasta
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
12 to 15 grape tomatoes
20 basil leaves
1/2 lb of fresh mozzarella, cut into squares
Parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot cook the Umbricelli pasta.  Add a teaspoon of salt plus 2 tablespoons of the Hojiblanca olive oil to the pasta water.  When the pasta is cooked al dente drain the water using a colander.  While the pasta is cooking take a large pan and heat the olive oil on medium to low heat.  Add the Spaghettata.  Let cook for 1 minute.  Toss in the sausage.  Cook for a few minutes until the sausage begins to lose its pink color.  Add the garlic and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes until sausage in thoroughly cooked and the garlic has browned.  Reduce heat if garlic begins to brown too quickly.  Toss in the tomatoes.  Continue cooking until tomatoes begin to soften.  Toss in the cooked pasta into the pan with the sausage mixture.  Continue cooking, add the basil leaves and Parmesan cheese.  Remove from heat and fold in the fresh mozzarella cheese.  The residual heat should be enough to melt the cheese slightly.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6  people. 

Umbricelli is a wonderful, thick pasta that holds tons of flavor due to its twisted folds and “s” shape.  This pasta is popular to use with simple sauces such as the one in this recipe.  The oil and Spaghettata spices are absorbed and gradually tucked into the folds producing a much richer tasting pasta.  Umbricelli is also a choice pasta for much thicker, heartier sauces with mushrooms and chunks of tomatoes.  For a vegetarian version, omit the sausage and add broccoli heads.  Make it a sea food dish and replace the sausage with shrimp. 

You can visit Carter & Cavero Old World Olive Oil Company at their stores in Red Bank, Pier Village/Long Branch and Palmer Square/Princeton, New Jersey or you can shop online at www.carterandcavero.com. Carter & Cavero is now at the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park in New York City this holiday season.