Back From the Black Hole Tomato and Olive Pasta

tomato and olive pasta

Our garage has turned into a black hole.  Like the washer and dryer that secretly steal single socks, the garage has been sucking things into the vast emptiness of oblivion, never to be seen again.  The tool box, the dog’s backpack, my Christmas china.

I blame this on the fact that we have moved twice in the past two years and on the moving company we used for our last move to try to save money.  JUST-PLAIN-SCARY.  However, during the transition we didn’t unpack all the boxes from the first move.  So I have also rediscovered things I forgot I had.  An ice cream maker, a gilt frame mirror, these soup/pasta bowls that go with my Christmas china. After expressing my nagging resentment towards the one I feel should be “keeper of the garage”, the rest of my Christmas china was rescued from the swirling vortex of blackness a week before the holidays.  We may just be using it the whole of 2009.

So, upon finding some great looking organic cherry tomatoes at the market and half a box of thin spaghetti noodles in the pantry, I decided the put the bowls to use and make this delicious Tomato and Olive Pasta.  The recipe is from one of the cookbooks I use on a regular basis for great weeknight recipes, Everyday Food: Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  It has really tasty recipes that are divided into seasons, which makes it even easier to use fresh seasonal ingredients along with pantry staples. I used spaghetti noodles instead of the penne pasta the original recipe called for, and might even add some capers the next time I make this.

Tomato and Olive Pasta

adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast


Serves 4.

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 pound (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne according to package instructions until al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until just golden, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring, until tomato juices run, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add penne, olives, parsley, and 1/4 cup Parmesan to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve with more cheese if desired.

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