Recipe: Linguine with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs

by Cate on September 9, 2015

A crowd-pleasing recipe that is quick enough to whip up on a weeknight and will keep ’em coming back for more.


Every once in awhile, I stumble upon a recipe that everyone in my little family approves of.

This is that.

(The sausage puffs last week were also that)

It doesn’t happen often.

Maybe one out of every eight recipes?

Give or take.

Sometimes I will deconstruct a recipe along the way, adding more of something for Nick, less of something for Madeline, to make it a crowd-pleaser.

But when I can just MAKE something and have everyone EAT IT?

That there is a good time.

And here we are.

This recipe originally appeared in the June issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and I love how quick and easy it is.

Thirty minutes start to finish.

Even with cats, dogs, and kids underfoot.

Because, life.

Pasta dishes, for the most part, are usually a homerun in the O’Malley household. And Nick LOVES green olives. I, for one, adored the bread crumbs.

And NO ONE knew they were eating anchovies.

Because, if you didn’t know, if you mash or cook anchovies, there is no fishy taste AT ALL. Mashing or cooking them just bring out their saltiness.

Trust me, because I hate anchovies.

Now that the homework, sports, cheer, scouts grind has started, recipes like this are exactly what you need in your back pocket. You can easily keep the ingredients stocked at all times and have a good, solid dinner on the table in half an hour.

Linguine with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit, June 2015

Bursting with the big brash flavors of green olives, anchovies, and capers, this herbaceous pasta sauce isn’t afraid to bite back.

1 tablespoon plus ½ cup olive oil
¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
12 ounces linguine or other long pasta
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 small garlic clove
1 cup chopped fresh parsley (I skipped)
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup green olives, pitted, halved
3 tablespoons drained capers
½ ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium and cook panko, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to paper towels to drain and toss with dill and lemon zest.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, mash anchovies and garlic to a paste on a cutting board with the side of a chef’s knife. Combine with parsley, basil, and half of olives and capers in a large bowl. Chop remaining olives and capers and add to bowl, along with remaining ½ cup oil. Mix well; season sauce with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Toss, adding Parmesan a bit at a time, along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Serve pasta topped with panko and more Parmesan.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against surface, and chill.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne September 10, 2015 at 8:55 am

I WISH my husband liked green olives! I would make this in a heartbeat. Sounds fabulous.
Joanne recently posted..Potato Waffle Eggs Florentine


Meg September 14, 2015 at 12:57 pm

My mouth is watering just reading this recipe! I love the tartness of green olives. Combined with breadcrumbs and pasta? I’m in!
Meg recently posted..Creamy chicken and wild rice soup in the slow cooker


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