I was flipping through Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food the other day in a bookstore, and it fell open to this recipe—which wasn't really a recipe but a casual suggestion for tossing pasta with olive tapenade.
I decided to run with it, creating this adaptable dish using Kalamata olives, capers, a bit of dried oregano, and olive oil—all blended together and tossed with hot spaghetti and butter. I was pretty pleased with the result, a done-before-the-pasta-finishes weeknight dinner, may favorite kind.
I would definitely stress that this dish is adaptable. The dab of butter was a welcome addition, giving the pasta some creaminess and mouthfeel, but you could leave it out in favor of olive oil. While I was eating, the only thing missing was a little heat, so I'd definitely use chili flakes next time.
- 2 tablespoons pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 teaspoon capers
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- olive oil as needed
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 pound long pasta, such as spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salty water to boil, and cook the pasta until al dente.
In the meantime, combine the olives, capes, oregano, and a little olive oil in a mini food processor or mortar and pestle. Blend or smash until well-combined into a paste. Add more olive oil if needed, aiming for a loose paste. (If you'd like to add a little chili, cook chili flakes over low heat in the olive oil, then add to the rest of the ingredients).
Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water, and toss in a serving bowl with the olive paste and chopped parsley. Add the butter and toss until melted. If the pasta is dry, use a little pasta water or more olive oil to loosen it. Serve immediately.