Pasta with Tomatoes and Olives

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I turn to Nora Roberts for comfort reading and comfort eating. There is a soothing formula to her trilogies. In times of crisis (hello, pandemic…) I know what I’m going to get and that her characters are never going to let me down. You can hear more on this in the Nora Roberts episode of Feasting on Fiction.

The trilogies that I enjoy most feature food pretty prominently. There is almost always a member of the team who is either a professional cook or someone who cooks elaborately to think, relax, or strategize. This specific pasta comes from Stars of Fortune and is so simple to make that you could easily enjoy it any time the fancy strikes.

Full disclosure, in the book it’s penne and black olives, but I went with what I had and thought would be delicious. Please feel free to do the same. “Pasta with Tomatoes and Olives” is as open-ended a direction as you would like it to be.

Pasta with Olives and Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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I used my air fryer’s dehydration setting to roast my tomatoes, but you could do them in the over just as effectively. Or, buy a jar of sun dried. Or, use them fresh. There’s no wrong way to do this.


  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 8 oz mini tomatoes, halved (prepared as you like, see note above)
  • 6 oz kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan


  1. In a small sauce pan, warm the olive oil and garlic over low heat. Allow the garlic to infuse the olive oil for at least 15 minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger it will be. When finished, remove the garlic and set aside.
  2. Prepare spaghetti to your preferred level of tenderness. Drain.
  3. Smash or press garlic into a paste.
  4. In the warm pasta pot, toss pasta, olives, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.
  5. Serve topped with parmesan.

This recipe is super forgiving. Feel free to adjust any of the above amounts to your taste. Add red pepper flakes for a bit of spice. Add chicken. The possibilities are endless!

“She speared a piece of cherry tomato, then a black olive. Closed her eyes a moment as she ate, then opened them and ate more.”

Nora Roberts, Stars of Fortune, pg 84

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