Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spaghetti with Olives and Bread Crumbs


Have you noticed that I love olives? They aren't just for salads, I assure you. I'm always throwing kalamata olives into my of my dishes. I just love the salty kick that they give. Most of the time you can leave the olives out if you don't like them but in this dish I think you would really be missing something if you didn't use them. I watched Giada De Laurentiis make this recipe a while ago and it went into my mental rolodex of recipes that I must try. I thought about it yesterday when looking for something quick to make for dinner. I went to The Food Network and pulled up Giada's recipe. WARNING : The next paragraph is a rant, skip to recipe if you don't want to hear it.

I read the reviews and had myself a good laugh. I apologize ahead of time if I'm coming off mean or as a food snob. I really don't mean to but it just amazes me how critical people can be. So for those people who gave this recipe a bad review...If you don't like olives why would you want to make this dish? You obviously wouldn't like it so why ruin it for others that might like it? That's the same as me knowing that I don't like shrimp and then cooking it anyway and then giving it a bad review because no matter what the recipe is if there's shrimp in it I'm not going to like it. It's just not right. Oh and if you are going to use canned salad olives it's going to be awful but why would you do that if you read the recipe or watched the show? Stepping off my soap box now.

Anyway, sorry about that little rant, it just upsets me. The recipe is great! I changed it up slightly but not because it wasn't good but because I like to make things that suit my tastes and my style of cooking.

If you want to see the original recipe click here.

Here is the recipe with my alterations.


1 pound spaghetti
1/2 tbsp butter
Approx 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use less you can always add more)
3/4 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped kalamata olives
3/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped large green sicilian olives
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, red pepper and the bread crumbs. Stirring constantly, cook the breadcrumbs until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta into the bread crumb mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and add the black and green olives. Add the Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of the parsley. Gently toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time to loosen the pasta. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with the remaining parsley.







Aggie said...

I would love this!! I love love love olives! I totally hear what you are saying about the reviews, don't get that at all!

My grandparents make a pasta like this for Christmas eve every year, but instead of olives they put anchovies in it. mmm....

Giovanna said...

My family makes a similar version of this spaghetti and serves it with spiedini. It's one of my favorites. Yours looks wonderful !

Melissa said...


Spryte said...

I'm not an olive fan... so I would never review an olive recipe... unless of course I loved it even though I don't typically like olives. I'd definitely make this for Jon. But I'd have to cut it WAY down!

Bob said...

Ha! Awesome. I hate it when people review things like idiots.

Dawn said...

When I make shrimp scampi hubby always asks me to put on extra breadcrumbs. So I can see why this tastes good, the breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes. Oh yes!

Joanna said...

Hi Michele! I love the idea for this blog; it is such a sweet way to share your memories and love of food and family!
And this recipe looks delish! I've also noticed those comments on many sites where people just don't follow directions or make snide remarks. It's lame, but I always ignore the advice! Cook what you love, eat what you love, have some fun with it is what I feel!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love this spegetti!

Michele said...

Aggie - Yes, I've heard of that! You can even use anchovy paste.

Giovanna - now here's the big question what kind of spiedini do you mean? Meat spiedini, the one on the skewer or spiedini that is layered mozzarella en corozza with an anchovy sauce?

Thanks Melissa, Bob and The Blonde Duck!

Spryte - You can definitely half it. If you don't like olive tapenade you wouldn't like this. Similar flavors diff texture.

Dawn - Don't forget the garlic!

Thanks Joanna - Thank you for stopping by and I totally agree!

Culinary Alchemist said...

OK, I think I have to make this as soon as possible... I LOVE olives... Do you think Panko would make it too "crunchy"...? I think that is all I have left...

And I agree with you.

Giovanna said...

The meat spiedini on the skewer. We roll ours with roasted garlic , parmesan, italian parsley and tabs of butter, then roll it in the seasoned breadcrumbs and pan sear. But now you've got me trying to remember how long it has been since I had mozzarella en corozza, which I LOVE as well ! Thanks so much for taking this crazy Calabrian down my own memory lane !!

Michele said...

Shane - I'm not sure....I'm thinking...I feel like I would like the crunch but I don't know if it would be the same. It may be a little weird. It's worth a shot. Cut the recipe in half and definitely season the panko.

Giovanna - that sounds awesome! Do you have that recipe posted somewhere?

Dajana said...

I don't like olives very much but I'm learning to eat them - because spaghetti with tuna that I make often would never be the same without olives! Even though I leave them all to my husband, they do add some special flavour, I'm sure it would be the same here

Rosabela said...

This sounds wonderful! This is something I would definitely make myself for lunch but not for my husband. He's not a big fan of olives. So with that said, I totally agree with you. Why make a recipe with something you don't like in it and then give it a bad review? Reviews are interesting to read ... sometimes they give you great tips and sometimes they're good for a laugh. :-)

teresa said...

Mmmm, this looks SO good! I love pasta dishes like this. And I feel the same way about the critics. One reviewer gave a recipe one star just because she thought the host was annoying!

Lucy said...

Love it,Michele !!!

Giovanna said...

No,I don't have it posted yet but hopefully will be making it soon and will definitely post it. I just realized that you,re in Morris Plains, that's so funny, I lived in Parsippany for a while when younger. I totally know where Morris Plains is!!

Stacey Snacks said...

The new format is beautiful! Love it!
I love crispy breadcrumbs on any pasta dish, even better than grated cheese!

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele,
Just tried it and the spaghetti was sticky - think I might've added too much pasta water with the breadcrumbs...did this from memory as my daughter stole the laptop so couldn't check. Thanks though - saw Giada do it & was hooked. Kathleen

Michele said...

Hi Kathleen! Not sure why it would be sticky. Did you toast the breadcrumbs?