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Tomato and Olive Penne


The cherry tomatoes cook just long enough to bring out their juice, which blends with the garlic-flavored olive oil to make one of the best-tasting pasta sauces.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2003


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne, or other short pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 pound (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne according to package instructions until al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until just golden, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring, until tomato juices run, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add penne, olives, parsley, and 1/4 cup Parmesan to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve with more cheese if desired.

Cook's Notes

The easiest way to pit an olive is to lay a wide chef's knife over it and smack the blade with your fist or the palm of your hand. The olive should split open, and the pit will pop right out.

Reviews Add a comment

  • katieyogo
    13 OCT, 2012
    great my family loves it
  • b3cca
    29 MAY, 2012
    This was delicious! We added a can of white beans (rinsed and drained) for extra protein. Because of that addition, I also increased the olives and parmesan to 1/3 cup each. It was DELICIOUS--both warm for dinner, and cold for leftovers the next day.
  • zilliejr
    11 FEB, 2009
    I love this recipe. I make it with whole wheat pasta and sometimes will crumble goat cheese (for a little more protein) on the top when serving and it makes a great filling meal. One night when i was cooking for one, I made a whole recipe and took a ton of the leftovers to work for lunch. It held up really well being re-heated in the microwave. The whole wheat penne doesn't get mushy and better the next day but the flavors had time to settle.
  • MS10514527
    7 OCT, 2008
    I have made this dish several times and it is delicious. If I don't have cherry tomatoes on hand I have used diced tomatoes and it comes out great. I also sometimes add chicken sausage that I cut into slices and then saute first.
  • raenester
    3 OCT, 2008
    This dish single handedly changed my mind on cherry tomatoes! It's that good! I let the tomatoes cook about twice as long as the recipe states so they get a little bit chewy like sun dried tomatoes. Also used 1 tbsp fresh oregano in place of the dried and also added about 1/4 cup basil.
  • comwilso
    30 SEP, 2008
    This was the perfect dish! It was easy and fast. The flavors were erxcellent; I added more garlic because I am addicted to the stuff, but other than that it was REALLY GOOD!
  • pansker
    11 JUL, 2008
    This is one of my favorites! I add some torn up rotisserie chicken to the dish and mix...fantastic!
  • MS10050535
    14 NOV, 2007
    I made this dish almost immediately after receiving the very first issue of Everyday Food magazine and several times since. It is so good and very quick and easy to prepare.