‘Meal of the Month’ – Tomato and olive spaghetti – November 2016

Welcome to my montly recipe feature. Along with ‘Five Favourite Finds‘, ‘My Top 10 Online Reads‘ and ‘What Little H Did‘, each month I share a personal recipe with you all. Some of the recipes are completely of my own creation whilst some are variations of a recipe I’ve found somewhere. Where the recipe falls into the latter bucket, I’ll be sure to make reference to the original and make clear any changes I’ve made. The meal for this month is: Tomato and olive spaghetti. Here’s how I did it!


Tomato and olive spaghetti

Earlier this year, Sam and I were watching a bit of a Rick Stein cookery show where he was going round Italy. He went for lunch with an Italian family who made an amazing looking simple pasta sauce. It was quite a dry sauce with minimal ingredients. When mixed with the spaghetti, the sauce just stuck to the pasta. Sam asked me to try and recreate so this was my attempt. It’s completely my own recipe but inspired by the Rick Stein show; The technique of removing the juice from the tomatoes is the one thing I did remember from the show! I’ve made this a few times now and whilst this time I’ve made it with olives, it work well with just tomatoes or with pre-baked aubergine.


Key facts

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cooking time: 12 mins
  • Family friendly*?: Yes
  • Complexity: Low
  • Cost: Low
  • Serves: 2 adults
  • Freezable: Yes but would be better fresh

*Refers to ingredients etc. Does not guarantee picky babies, toddlers or teens will actually eat it.


  • 1 small onion sliced into quarter moons as finely as possible
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 1 handful of fresh basil chopped finely
  • 10 black pitted olives cut into quarters
  • 200g of spaghetti (or linguine)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh parmesan
  • salt / pepper to season


  1. Chop the tomatoes into quarters then one handful at a time, squeeze out all of the seeds and juice to leave just the fleshy part. Set aside in a bowl;
  2. Boil a large pan full of lightly salted water and add the spaghetti. Leave to cook per instructions (but usually 10 – 12 mins);
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.
  4. Once the pan is hot, add the onion, stir and then turn the heat down to low;
  5. Cook the onion for 5 minutes (cooking it slowly makes it softer and sweeter);
  6. Turn the heat back up to medium then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes;
  7. Add the tomatoes and basil, stirring into the onion and garlic;
  8. Leave the tomatoes cooking on medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. When stirring, use the back of the spoon to squash the tomatoes down and get out any extra liquid;
  9. With 2 minutes to go before the spaghetti is ready, add the olives into the tomato mixture to heat through;
  10. Try the sauce and season to taste / depending on whether little ‘uns are eating it;
  11. Drain the spaghetti and toss in the tomato sauce
  12. Serve with grated parmesan cheese!

How did it go down in Casa Watling?

So far I’ve only made this as an adult meal. But Sam is a massive fan and has enjoyed it on every occasion I’ve made it. He likes it because it’s such a fresh and uncomplicated meal. Little H is a big fan of tomato pasta so I will definitely try this for her at some point, but probably with an alternative toddler-friendly pasta…

The Pramshed

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


My Petit Canard

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About Me

About Me

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (6 & 3). I'm a Gardener, am houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!

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