Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Spaghetti with Olives

One of my friends frequently ask about the lack of entry in this blog. Obviously that's not because I have stopped eating. Believe me. I very often post about the sweet treats I bring to work for Fridays, then followed by the food I had at the weekend when I had more time to cook and messing about in the kitchen. And here's the thing: if I were to blog about the meal I had daily, there would be a lot of repetitions of pasta dishes which include the addictive spaghetti with marmite, pasta puttanesca and linguine with garlic and pancetta... all of which have been featured before. Also, one evening I had a tub of ice cream for dinner and that's probably not worth mentioning, however delicious and satisfying I must confess.

But perhaps another pasta dish which I used have quite often and have not been featured yet is spaghetti with olives. I love this so much, not only because it's delicious (duh!), but incredibly quick to prepare. The longest wait is for the water to boil to cook the pasta.

I still remember having this dish the first time when I was doing my first degree several years ago. The time when I was living in student accommodation and all I had in the fridge that day was a handful of spaghetti, olives and with a little help of chilli flakes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, this dish was created.

Start by cooking the spaghetti in plenty of boiling, salted water, according to the packet instruction. I reckon about 150 gr for a single portion. In a wide pan, big enough to toss the spaghetti later, cover the base with good olive oil (though today I use delicious British rapeseed oil) and add to that a pinch of dried chilli flakes and a clove of garlic that's been thinly sliced. As you heat up the pan gently, the chilli and garlic will flavour the oil. Be really careful not to burn the garlic. When they sizzle a bit, add the chopped green olives, as much as you want and I like a lot and stir around. The pasta should be cooked by now. Drain and reserve a ladleful of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta in the oil, adding the reserving cooking liquid if required. Add the juice of half a lemon and toss again. Perhaps a little bit of freshly ground black pepper but no salt as the olives are already quite salty and I will be adding freshly grated Parmesan cheese too. No need to chop, just tear the parsley leaves and enjoy with a glass of well chilled white/rose wine. yum... spaghetti with olives is definitely making a comeback in my life.


  1. Its the same over on my blog, I used to post all the time because I just started cooking, but now I have a repertoire of recipes that are really worth repeating (the marmite spaghetti being a firm favourite with me too!!). This pasta sounds delicious, and so simple!!

  2. Penne coated with pesto and olives is my favourite dish of all time.

    Spaghetti with marmite? I don't like the sound of it... I probably need some convincing...

  3. This pasta dish is just so genius. So simple yet just perfection in a bowl and surely that's what pasta should be about. I love your blog Michael and its better that you blog the wonderful stuff you do when you like not because you have to. It's your blog afterall. Keep up the good work! Dom x

  4. I'm in the mood for something just like this tonight! Simple but delciious! :D

  5. Okay, Monsieur Toa, write me here: and explain to this ignorant goofball what marmite is (please). As for the spaghetti part, I assure you I am on top of my game.

  6. Michael, I really do admire your creativity, with your desserts, and your dishes you make...especially with the simple, quick, and delicious pasta. As long as there's spaghetti, or a different kind of pasta in the pantry, olives, anchovies, fresh veggies, fresh herbs, and the most important part the extra virgin olive oil, and a really good chunk of Parmigiana Reggiano, and dinner is all set!

    Your pasta dish is yummy, and love the olives in it, and's important to save at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water to add to it, so it will give the right consistency!
    I would love to eat your kind of pasta every single day, and finish it off with a fab dessert of yours:DDD

  7. This is for sure a perfect pasta meal for me as I am a sucker for olives!

  8. I wish you posted more too, but that's cause I'm selfish! lol I totally understand, I used to stress about making something a second time cause I couldn't post about it. Now, I like making something a second or third or fourth time so that I don't have to take pictures or write the recipe down!!! Ugh.. it's harder than most people think :)

    Now, about this recipe... YUM! This is so up my alley. I could eat a plate of this nightly and never get bored with it. I just love that you eat pasta so frequently... if it wasn't for Chris, I would eat it at least 3 times a week!