Pasta with Olives and Capers

The last few weeks I’ve been enjoying making some simpler dishes, ones that just let the underlying flavors of the ingredients come forward. It’s probably a reaction to the River Cottage Veg cookbook I’ve been reading.

This dish is in that style, it’s a take on Pasta Puttanesca. There aren’t any tomatoes in it so it’s not really¬†puttanesca, but the salty flavor of the olives and the capers and the use of pantry ingredients point in that direction.

Pasta with Olives and Capers


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup good olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 pound cooked pasta
  • red wine vinegar (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic and pepper flakes until fragrant.
  2. Place the saute mixture in a large bowl with the olives and capers.
  3. Add the pasta and toss to coat, adding more olive oil if needed.
  4. Taste and sprinkle with vinegar if desired, to cut the saltiness. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can use whatever sort of pasta you prefer here. I usually use a low-carb rotini. The vinegar is optional but I find a bit of acid really helps to keep the saltiness in check.