Pasta with green olive tapenade and pancetta

Pasta with green olive tapenade and pancetta

What's for Dinner?
20 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Gorta Yuuki

The tapenade can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until needed. It’s also great with grilled veal chops or chicken fillets.


Quantity Ingredient
200g pitted green olives
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 anchovies
1 small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
400g pasta of your choice, such as penne or rigatoni
8 thin slices pancetta
50g rocket leaves
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve


  1. To make the tapenade, finely chop the olives, capers and anchovies. (It is quicker to process them in a food processor, but hand-chopping them retains some texture.) Mix together in a bowl and add the parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir well and season with lots of the pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add a good pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir until the water has returned to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook the pasta at a fast simmer for 8 minutes. Drain the pasta.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the pancetta slices for 1–2 minutes on each side, or until crisp. Set aside on paper towel.
  4. Break the pancetta into bite-sized pieces. Add to the drained pasta along with 1–2 tablespoons of green olive tapenade and the rocket leaves. Toss to combine. Divide between four bowls and serve with the freshly grated parmesan.


  • Extra-virgin olive oil

    Extra-virgin olive oil is the first extraction from the crushed olives. It has the strongest flavour and, depending on the variety of olives, can be fruity, spicy, grassy or peppery. Olive oil should be used when it’s fresh. Both heat and light will damage oil, so store it in a cool dark place, such as a cupboard. Imported oils just won’t be as fresh as local oils because they have been travelling on a ship around the globe for several months.
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