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Spanish Pasta Salad with Olives & Basil Recipe - Ensalada de pasta con Aceitunas


Spanish Pasta Salad with Olives - Ensalada de Pasta con Aceitunas

Spanish Pasta Salad with Olives - Ensalada de Pasta con Aceitunas

(c) 2013 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com Inc.
Olives and capers give this pasta salad the distinct Mediterranean flavor. Combine them with tuna, basil and olive oil for a surprisingly pleasant, unique flavor for a salad. The pasta shape doesn't matter, as long as it is a short cut pasta, like a bowtie or a penne, for example. Both black and green olives are used together, so choose varieties that do not have strong flavor, or taste bitter. Although you can purchase gourmet olives, this salad tastes great with supermarket canned olives. The olive oil used in the dressing however, should be a high quality extra virgin oil for full flavor.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 lb dry pasta (bowtie, penne or other short shape)
  • 4 oz (120 gr) pitted black olives, drained
  • 4 oz (120 gr) pitted green olives, drained
  • 2 heaping tsp (approx 30 gr) capers, drained
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 can (7 oz or 198 gr) tuna packed in oil
  • 2 Roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 oz prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


For this pasta salad, choose a short or small pasta shape, such as the bow tie or penne. Cook the pasta in boiling water (with a bit of oil) until "al dente," drain and cool. Then, cover and refrigerate while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Place black and green olives, capers, and fresh basil into a food processor and whirl until ingredients are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dried oregano, pesto sauce, and fresh chopped parsley. Set aside until ready to mix into pasta.

Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks. Drain oil and flake the tuna using a fork. Set tomatoes and tuna aside.

When the pasta is chilled, remove from refrigerator and toss to loosen. Add olive-caper mixture to pasta, and toss to mix in thoroughly. Add tomatoes chunks and tuna, and mix. Drizzle olive oil over salad and mix well. Salt to taste. Sprinkle a few whole olives over the top if desired.

This salad will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days if tightly covered. If salad looks a bit dry, "freshen" it up by drizzling a bit of olive oil over the top and tossing again, and optionally adding half a tomato, chopped.

More About Spanish Cuisine, Olives, and Olive Oil

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  5. Spanish Pasta Salads
  6. Easy Spanish Pasta Salad with Olives and Basil Recipe - Ensalada de pasta con olivas

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