Northern California olive oil purveyor Dewey Lucero shares a simple pasta dish topped with his family’s specialty.
The Traditional Lucero Pasta Dinner
1 lb. of your favorite pasta
Ground black pepper
2 chicken sausage links, precooked variety
3 T Lucero Ascolano Olive Oil
½ of each bell pepper, seeded and sliced lengthwise—red, yellow, orange and green peppers
2 zucchinis, sliced into rounds
½ red onion, sliced thick
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
Preheat grill. Place pot on stove with salted water to boil for pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on package (about 8–10 minutes). While pasta cooks, prep vegetables for grill. Place prepared vegetables in large mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. Place seasoned vegetables on grill and cook until tender. Remove vegetables from grill and place in clean mixing bowl. Place chicken sausages on grill, turn sausages halfway through cooking. Cook until warmed through. Once sausages are done, slice on a diagonal. Place in mixing bowls with grilled vegetables. Add pasta to mixing bowl with vegetable and sausage and toss with last tablespoon of olive oil or to flavor.
Meet the Triathlete
Near the end of 2004, Dewey Lucero found himself out of work and at a crossroads. One direction led to a career as a pro triathlete. The other led down a different path—one that ended with bottling a family tradition.
Lucero picked up triathlon in 2000 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after a teaching assistant—who later became his wife—suggested he try out for the college’s tri team. The former standout swimmer proved a game competitor at sprint and Olympic distances. By 2003, he was ranked top 10 in his age group by USAT. After being laid off from his quality engineering job, he took an interest in the olive oil business started by his father and grandfather in his hometown of Corning, Calif.
Lucero Olive Oil has since become one of the leading olive producers in California, producing up to 12 varietals, bottling them into more than 35,000 gallons of oil each year. For now, the 34-year-old Lucero says his appearance at the Black Butte Triathlon in 2011 was his last triathlon for a while.
“The good thing for me is that my body’s programmed,” he says. “I have to work out and get that extra energy out just to feel right.”
Lucero recommended this pasta dish, a staple from his racing days that works as dinner for two or a pre-race meal for an army of athletes. As a rule, it’s hard to go overboard with olive oil. “We really pour it on in the Lucero household,” he says.