Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives (Orecchiette con Pomodori Secchi e Olive)

Cooking a delicious weekday meal can be as quick as it takes to cook the pasta. Thanks to my blogging friend Simona and her wonderful blog Grembiule da cucina, here’s another one. The combination of tomatoes and sundried tomatoes works really well to get a deep tomato flavor. This sauce is so packed with flavor that it doesn’t even need grated cheese. Grazie, Simona!

You only need ingredients that you can keep in your pantry (or grow in your windowsill) to make this. If you can’t find orecchiette, another short type of pasta will do in a pinch. However, the quality of the peeled tomatoes, the sundried tomatoes, and the olives is key to this dish. Taggiasca olives from Liguria are the best, and sundried tomatoes without vinegar are great. You can also use dry sundried tomatoes (instead of with oil), in that case reconstitute them in hot water.


For 2 servings

150 grams (1/3 lb) orecchiette or other short pasta

50 grams pitted black olives, preferably taggiasca

50 grams sundried tomatoes in oil (drained before weighing)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

250 ml (1 cup) canned peeled tomatoes, pureed in the food processor

1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley or basil chiffonade


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the orecchiette and set your timer for the time indicated on the package for al dente.

Meanwhile, mince the sundried tomatoes…

…and the olives.

Puree the canned tomatoes.

Heat the oil in frying pan. Add the garlic clove and tilt the pan until the garlic is golden, then discard it.

Add the sundried tomatoes and olive, and stir for a minute.

Then add the pureed tomatoes.

Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Simmer the sauce until it has the right consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When the orecchiette are al dente, drain them in a colander and add them to the sauce.

Add most of the parsley or basil as well.

Toss the orecchiette in the sauce until they are coated by the sauce.

Serve at once on preheated plates, sprinkled with the remaining parsley or basil.


Spaghettini with a spicy ragù of venison and crunchy red bell pepper is not a classic Italian dish (at least not that I have ever heard of), but it sure is delicious.


12 thoughts on “Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives (Orecchiette con Pomodori Secchi e Olive)

    1. Thanks Bea, that’s a nice compliment. I’ve learned how to cook from an Italian, book author Biba Caggiano (from Bologna but moved to California in the 60ies), so that may be it.


  1. Definitely a recipe to try. And all ingredients at hand and nothing to be left out if one is not particularly into eel or rabbit or ….. 🙂

    The photography is superb Stefan. Surely there should be a cooks credit section at the end that shows you enjoying your creation? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A simple, yet obviously tasty recipe. If one is looking for a quick Italian fix, then this is the meal that can answer to that. The taggiasca olives will give it a different depth of flavor, and the sun dried tomatoes will also provide a different character to the sauce. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe, can’t wait to try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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