spaghetti with green olive sauce (spaghetti al pesto d’olive)

new cookbook equals many new meals. my husband and i received several new cookbooks this year and we are excited to start exploring. this is a mario batali recipe from his cookbook Molto Italiano. what appealed to me about this particular recipe was that the ingredients are few and unique. that, and, it is very simple. this pasta is one that is great as a meal or could be perfect as a side next to a beautiful steak.


¼ c extra-virgin olive oil

¾ c fresh bread crumbs

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 salt-packed anchovies, filleted, rinsed, and chopped, or  oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, drained, and chopped

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

1 c green olives, preferably ascolana, pitted and chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb spaghetti


bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.

meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until almost smoking. add the breadcrumbs and toss for a few minutes, until toasted golden brown, then transfer to a plate and set aside.

in a 10-12 inch sauté pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. add the anchovies and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring to dissolve the anchovies, for 3 minutes. stir the olives and cook for 3 minutes, then add the toasted bread crumbs, stir well, and season with salt and pepper. remove from heat and set the pan aside.

cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until just al dente, per package instructions.

drain the pasta and add to the pan with the olive mixture. place the pan over medium heat and toss to mix well, about 1 minute. serve immediately.

*the pasta is on the dry side. if you want the noodles to be a bit moister, reserving some pasta water and adding this to the noodles does help. it will change the texture of the bread crumbs slightly.

bon appetit!

recipe source: mario batali  Molto Italiano


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