Spaghettini with Olive Pesto

Spaghettini with Olive Pesto

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
You can pit olives quickly using the back of a large knife. Put the olives on a cutting board and lay the widest part of the blade on top, sharp edge facing away from you. Carefully roll the olives, pressing down on the blade. The olives should split, allowing you to remove the pits easily.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lb. black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 2 Tbs. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghettini or spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Make the pesto
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. In a food processor, combine the 1/2 cup olive oil, the garlic, olives and marjoram and pulse to combine. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then pulse once or twice more to form a coarse sauce. Transfer the olive pesto to a large bowl.

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pesto along with the parsley and toss to combine. Add as much of the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).
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