Penne Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives
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Penne Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives

Pan roasted tomatoes paired with slightly bitter-ish,creamy flavor of black olives, infused with a subtle garlic aroma and topped with delicious briny ricotta salata cheese!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 12 oz penne pasta or other pasta shape you like
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup Mediterranean black olives or other brine-cured black olives
  • 8 oz ricotta salata (salted ricotta cheese)
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half or use whole if you prefer. Halved take less time to cook though.
  • In a large skillet pan a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife, cherry tomatoes and olives.
  • Cook on medium heat until tomatoes become lightly browned and soft.
  • Press them lightly with a wooden spoon to release the juice. Be careful of the spatters.
  • Remove garlic cloves and reduce the heat to low.
  • Simmer for a few minutes white pasta is cooking.
  • Cook pasta in hot boiling water until 'al dente'. Check time indicated in the package minus 1-2 minutes.
  • Reserve some cooking liquid.
  • Add drained pasta in a pan with roasted tomato sauce.
  • Add some more extra virgin olive oil if need and cooking liquid if it feels too dry.
  • Toss in a pan for a minute or two.
  • Serve immediately generously topped with grated ricotta salata - salted ricotta cheese (see notes).


Salted Ricotta takes this whole pasta to the next level.
Kind of like with Pasta Alla Norma
So if you have an opportunity, get it and use it by all means.
But depending on the part of the world where you are at it could be hard to find ricotta salata.
So here’s what you can do instead:
  1. Use the closest substitute for Ricotta Salata which is a mix of quality Pecorino and crumbled Feta Cheese.
  2. Make Ricotta Salata at home. Honestly I haven’t tried any of the recipes below, just because I had no need living in Italy :)
But these 2 recipes sound worth trying:
Let me know if you end up trying any of these or have your own favorite way.