Olives & Greens in Angry Sauce

A little salty, a little heat, and just a hint of sweet – Olives & Greens in Angry Sauce

by Pasta Boy Peter



Serves 4

  • 1 bag of a Good Bronze Extruded Pasta or your home made orechietti, cavatelli or gnochetti sardi (Check out Wikipedia’s history of it)
  • 200g of canned Italian or Californian Cherry tomatoes (approx. ¼ of a large can). I also like Plum or San Marzano tomatoes. You can also use a Passata or tomato puree, Italian or otherwise, but your sauce will be a bit more liquid. When in season look for fresh Cherry tomatoes.
  • 1/2 cup of tender or baby greens. I like bitter greens like arugula or dandelion, but you can use any baby green like spinach or kale for richness or swiss chard for sweetness.
  • 2 cloves of finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of pitted olives roughly chopped or sliced
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin Italian olive oil
  • Peperoncini (Red Chili Flakes) to taste. The more you add the angrier it gets!


  • Add olive oil to a frying pan and set to a medium heat
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes making sure the garlic does not burn. Add the chili flakes and cook another minute. Stir occasionally making sure neither ingredient burns.
  • Add the the olives & sauté for 2 min.
  • Add the greens & sauté for 2 min or until they start to wilt.
  • Add the tomatoes
  • Turn the frying pan up to a medium high heat
  • When the sauce has begun to bubble/boil (usually within 3 minutes) Turn to low and continue to simmer
  • This is when I put the pasta in the boiling water as your sauce is essentially done.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste at this point. Do not add it at the beginning because the olives are salty and as the sauce cooks down it will absorb some of that salt. Toss it with good pasta and always remember to #EatwiththoseyouLove TM


  • Start with 4 liters of unsalted water boiling in a large pot. Start the water boiling before starting the sauce so you are ready to put the pasta in when the sauce is almost done. Add a 1 TBSP of sea salt to season the water.
  • When the water has reached a rolling boil it is ready for pasta.
  • Follow Directions for cooking on the bag. Remember to stir immediately when adding the pasta and occasionally after.

Finishing touches:

  • Bringing pasta and sauce together!
  • Check your sauce & when it has a good aroma & has thickened, it is ready.
  • Add a quarter of a ladle of the pasta water to the sauce and stir it in
  • Once the 2 minutes are up, the pasta should be nearly ready (it should be slightly harder than Al Dente)
  • Save & set aside another quarter ladle of pasta water
  • Strain the pasta well and add it to the sauce. Toss or stir the pasta in the sauce for the next 1-1.5 minutes.
  • After the 1-1.5 minutes have passed, taste the pasta to make sure it is Al Dente if not add the saved pasta water & cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Serve with pecorino cheese if you can but parmesean will do in a pinch.

An easy sauce recipe that is tasty & healthy peasant cooking in 15 to 20 minutes!

Like this recipe and want to learn more? Join Peter for two upcoming cooking classes – Fresh Pasta Making on April 27th and Hands on Pasta 2 – Puglia Style on May 11th. For more info and recipes from the Pasta Boy, visit his website.