Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers & Black Olives

There is nothing better than a simple Italian pasta dish. Well, maybe except a piece of warm bread with some melting butter on top, but any tomato pasta would be second for sure. This recipe is by far my favourite to make, even though I only learnt how to make it a few months back. It was again, one of those dishes that Roberta had prepared for us for lunch, and I then had to go home, and re-create it. 

I like this dish for many reasons, one of them being the aroma of hot Kalamata olives, but what's better, is that it really takes only 10 minutes to prepare, and you can feed an army in that space of time. I have made this for my dinner tonight, and I also packed two lunches for myself for the next days, and, with cleaning up, it seriously only took me 20 minutes tops. 

Please make this for the next dinner party, or picnic in the park, and let me know what you think! 

Ingredients (3-4 people):
  • 400g / 14oz dried penne
  • 1 can of cherry tomatoes or any Italian tomatoes
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 4-5 large basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 black olives (Kalamata)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • Parmesan

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packaging for al dente. You can use more pasta if you wish.

While pasta is cooking, pour 2 tbsp of olive oil into a pan and heat it up. When warm, add crushed garlic and chilli flakes, and cook until aromatic, 30 seconds. 

Add cherry tomatoes, stir in basil, capers and olives. Season with sugar, some salt and pepper, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. If you have time, you can simmer it for longer, and the sauce will absorb more aroma of the basil, olives and capers. But I always cook it only as long as the pasta is cooking, and it tastes delicious.

Drain pasta, leave some of the liquid aside. Pour sauce over the pasta, and see if you need to add some cooking water to get pasta more moist.

Serve immediately with a good portion of grated Parmesan.

You can prepare the sauce in advance and keep it in the fridge for about 2 days.



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