In the small pilgrim town of Monte Sant’Angelo, Puglia, I got treated to this simple yet lovely pasta dish. It’s made with orecchiette, an ear shaped pasta special to the area. Like in my recipe, it is usually served with some kind of vegetable sauce. Here in the Netherlands you can’t buy the orecchiette in the usual supermarket but curiously enough they have them at Xenox! Or you can get them at an Italian delicatessen.


Serves 4
500 g orecchiette pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 can (about 450 g) whole tomatoes
100 g black olives, in halves
1 tsp crushed red chili pepper
bunch of basil leaves, shredded
Salt and black pepper
Pecorino cheese, grated

Cook your pasta al dente in salted, boiling water.
Lightly sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the tomatoes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break them up a bit. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
When the sauce is almost ready, add olives, red chili pepper and basil, cook for another minute or so. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve into plates and sprinkled with pecorino cheese and more red pepper, if needed.