Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mediterranean pasta with no cook olive sauce

Mediterranean pasta with no-cook olive sauce: an easy weeknight meal featuring key ingredients from the Mediterranean diet to support health and longevity.

Mediterranean pasta with no cook olive sauce

You've probably heard about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet (namely living longer -- yay for living longer!) -- the diet that's rich in good-for-you foods like whole grains, seeds, legumes, veggies, fish, olives and olive oil. Couldn't we all use more of these healthy ingredients in our diets? You betcha. So, just for you, I've created a pasta dish, featuring California Black Ripe Olives, that pays homage to the healthy Mediterranean diet.

I have never met anyone who doesn't love black olives. And, if you're like me, you almost always have a can of them on hand in the pantry, right? Which makes them totally handy for creating quick, weeknight meals. Plus, black olives contain a variety of vitamins and fiber -- and, of course, you can wear them on your fingers.

For all of these reasons (not the least of which is the finger-wearing, if we're being honest), California Black Ripe Olives were the perfect choice to star in my new Mediterranean pasta dish. I paired the olives in a no-cook sauce with tangy capers, lots of fresh herbs from my garden, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some mashed anchovies (trust me -- they add an awesome yet subtle umami flavor that you will love!), then tossed them all with healthy whole-wheat pasta: it's an easy weeknight meal that's not only delicious, reminiscent of an olive tapenade, but also incorporates many key components of the Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean pasta with no cook olive sauce

In case you missed that middle part, I'll repeat it. This is a no-cook sauce. Yes, no cooking, just chopping. Because you know I'm all about keeping dinner simple, healthy and delish. And we all have time for a little chopping. And anchovy-mashing, which is really quite fun and a pretty good arm workout.

In addition to making my Mediterranean pasta with no-cook olive sauce, you can find other ways to incorporate California Ripe Olives into your daily diet by checking out this site.

Mediterranean pasta with no cook olive sauce

And whether you're a long-time olive fan or just warming to the idea, here's an extra bonus: you can enter the California Ripe Olives Mediterranean Midsummer Giveaway for a chance to win a fabulous prize package that will help you enjoy Mediterranean meals at home all summer long.

Are you on the black olive bandwagon with me now? Raise your olive-tipped hand if you are. Then leave a comment (you should probably remove the aforementioned olives first): The Ninj wants to hear from fellow olive lovers.

Mediterranean pasta with no cook olive sauce

Mediterranean Pasta with No-Cook Olive Sauce

13.25-ounce box of whole wheat pasta
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
1 cup pitted California Black Ripe Olives, halved length-wise
1/4 cup capers
5 oil-packed anchovies, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
approx. 1/4 cup panko for topping

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid before draining.

While pasta cooks, combine the garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, olives and capers in a large bowl. On a cutting board, use the side of a large chef's knife to mash the anchovies into a thick paste, then scrape the paste into the bowl. Add the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Next, add the cooked, drained pasta and about 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the bowl, and toss to coat (add a little more pasta water if necessary).

Sprinkle in the cheese gradually, tossing the pasta after each addition to prevent the cheese from clumping. Squeeze the lemon over the pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each individual serving (approximately 4-5) with panko.

-- print recipe --

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. Sounds delicious. Might try this out tonight. I am scared of anchovies but love fish.

    1. Oh, don't fear the anchovy! They are great and, as a paste, you won't even know they're in there. ENJOY!