• 1 cup juicy black Greek olives (or a mix of black and green), rinsed, pitted, and chopped
  • 5 anchovy fillets, rinsed and mashed
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped pickled or raw mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • pinch or more of red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups prepared tomato sauce, heated*
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Combine olives, anchovy fillets, capers, mushrooms, herbs, garlic, and red pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and in it saute the olive mixture 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and readjust the seasoning. Simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Transfer to the skillet and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds longer. Serve hot without grated cheese.

serves 6

Recipe adapted from Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Cooking.

*Wolfert offers a variation on this recipe where she omits the tomato sauce but adds more olives, plus yellow raisins, and pine nuts. I’ve never tried this version but I may do so one day because Wolfert claims it’s really good and that the raisins blend nicely with everything else.