My Italian-born mother-in-law is a wonderful cook.  She has always made delicious “first-dish” pasta meals using relatively few basic ingredients and seasonings, and she has the gift of knowing how to blend these perfectly!  On any given day, when faced with my favorite dilemma “what am I going to cook tonight”, my thoughts go directly to these tried-and-true recipes, learned by watching her prepare them time and again.

Olive Sauce is the first in my new series “Super Simple Italian”, based on Olga’s everyday meals, and I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes that will follow.  Please bear in mind that these recipes do not lend themselves to exact measurements of ingredients (a lot has to do with personal taste) but I’ll do my best to give good approximations.  With a supply of olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper, and pasta on hand, you should be good-to-go!


1 can Italian crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)

1/3  jar Gaeta olives, pits removed

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf italian parsley

1/3 cup (+/-) olive oil

Black pepper, to taste

1 lb. linguine (I like Barilla)

Note: The olives are somewhat salty, so you might want to taste the sauce before adding salt.

Saute garlic, olives and parsley in olive oil until garlic is lightly browned.  Add  crushed tomatoes, and season with black pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer, immediately, on low, for approx. 45 minutes, stirring frequently.  Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, and pour sauce over pasta.

“Mangiare e Divertirsi!”


thanks, google translator 😉

0 thoughts on “Super Simple Italian – Olive Sauce

  1. Alyssa says:

    Ma! You forgot Grandma’s secret to making EVERY pasta taste better…
    instead of pouring the sauce over your cooked pasta — cook the pasta until it is about a minute or two shy of being done (a little undercooked), drain, and in the now empty pot that you boiled the pasta in, put a few tablespoons of the sauce – put it back on the burner (high heat), and then add the cooked pasta. Stir it around in there for a minute or two — the sauce will finish cooking the pasta and cook INTO the pasta, which gives every bite more flavor. Turn off the heat, add grated cheese, stir and then serve. You can always add more sauce and cheese on top to taste.

    For us “tasters”, this is the only way to eat pasta! :O)


    • Ann says:

      I know she uses that method for pasta soups with broth, but I’ve never seen her do it with sauce. I think we need the family to “weigh in” here!

  2. E. says:

    What a great post Big A. I haven’t even had breakfast yet, but already I am thinking.. what’s for dinner???

    Sorry Little a, I am going to have to agree with with your mom here. With, soups, yes, pasta… I don’t think so.

    Or, would you both like me to go wake her up for the definitive answer????

  3. Ann says:

    Here goes, Little a……
    Grandma was here for dinner on Sunday, and she confirmed that you “finish cooking the pasta” in soups with broth. When you make Olive Sauce, you completely drain the cooked pasta and then mix it with the sauce.

    Big A: 1, Little a: 0

  4. Sas says:

    Thank you for posting these! I’m going to make this and pasta with peas this week. Love you!!

  5. AmberNicole says:

    I think this sauce sounds delicous!! I can’t wait to try it and Little A I like your idea about putting the pasta in the sauce over high heat and letting it cook off I think I will try it!!