Since it’s spring and everything is turning green (and yellow and pink), it’s time to take advantage and turn from heavy food to something lighter and fresher. Spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko hits all those buttons. It’s light, it’s green, and it’s a bit of a flavor bomb that will wake up your taste buds.
It’s got zesty garlic, and earthy fresh spinach, paired with tangy capers, briny olives and a burst of citrus. Crispy, golden-brown panko crumbs mixed with dill and lemon zest add a bit of crunch.
In fact, I shared it with some friends and one of them said, “Oh I want that! I want it now! But I’m at work! Sob.”
I hate that the internet doesn’t include a “push here for spaghetti option”!
I found the original recipe on Bon Appetit, but I changed it a bit. First, it had anchovies. Nope! Nope! Second, I swapped the original parsley for some spinach instead. One, I had lots of spinach. And two, I don’t like parsley all that much, so there’s no point in buying a whole bunch of it. The spinach I will use for other meals.
One more small thing. The recipe said to cut some of the olives in half and then chop up the rest. It may have said to chop up the capers too (the instructions were a bit unclear). I started to chop the olives and then decided it was silly, so I stopped.
It also occurred to me after I made it that I could prepare the pasta first, then keep it warm while I cooked the panko and mixed everything else together. Just drain and wipe the saucepan, add the oil and panko, and proceed with the rest of the recipe. That way it’s only one pot!
I used ordinary green olives (because they were handy). I think I will try it next time with castelvetrano olives instead, since they are my favorite olive (and taste great with pasta).
Oh dear, I’m revising and internet commenting my own recipe! Ha!
Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko Substitutions and Variations
- like anchovies and parsley? Go for it!
- use castelvetrano olives instead, they are firmer and more buttery
- top the whole thing with some red pepper flakes
- add more garlic
- use the sauce over cooked fish (such as cod or tilapia)
More Spaghetti Recipes
A bit of basil, a handful of spinach, and some cream (or diluted plain Greek yogurt), and cooked pasta. You’ve got dinner (only two pots). A healthy, green way to say hello to spring.
Fancy fresh pasta, or standard dried, this meal works either way. And it makes me smile every time.
Nobody knows exactly how this dish got its name. But, the punchy capers, sweet tomatoes, and briny olives pack a lot of flavor into a few ingredients. It’s fast, and delicious too.
Green, earthy, garlicky, and made with pistachios rather than the usual pine nuts (who can pay for those nowadays anyway?). This recipe came from an unusual source: a book. And, it wasn’t a cookbook either.