Linguine With Zucchini, Garlic, Black Olives, and Toasted Breadcrumbs

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When the weather is this good, it’s hard to blog or catch-up on my friends’ kitchen action but here I am…adding to the din.

Last week, Martha Stewart lined up a whack of celebrity chefs to show off and show the viewers quick and easy recipes that you & I can can whip up in no time.

This pasta dish jumped right out of my TV screen and I scurried over to my computer to bookmark it.

This pasta dish is so easy that the sauce is ready EVEN before the linguine has been cooked to “al dente”.

The recipe comes courtesy of Pino Luongo and Mark Straussman and the book is called “Two Meatballs in the Italian Kitchen”.

I love this simple, refreshing pasta dish. It’s light, it’s flavourful and the olives give one a nice burst of salt. It’s been a week since I saw the recipe on TV and I’ve made it twice.

Linguine With Zucchini, Garlic, Black Olives, and Toasted Breadcrumbs
(Serves 4 to 6)

  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced very thinly crosswise
  • 20 Gaeta or Nicoise olives, pitted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Sicilian
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat and salt. Add pasta, stir until water returns to a boil, and cook pasta, according to package directions, until “al dente”.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil and garlic, onions and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add olives, oregano, and red pepper flakes; season with salt to taste.
  3. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add pasta to skillet and toss to combine. If pasta seems dry, add reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing between each addition. Transfer pasta to a large platter, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with bread crumbs; serve immediately.

© 2008,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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39 Comments for “Linguine With Zucchini, Garlic, Black Olives, and Toasted Breadcrumbs”



This looks great! It’s so simple, but the combination of ingredients is nonetheless exciting. This is such a great way to spruce up that ordinary pasta dish.

Lori Lynn


Nice. I really like toasted breadcrumbs on pasta dishes.

BTW – I went to our gourmet market yesterday to get fresh duck, which they had, and fiddleheads, which they did not have :(



That pasta sounds really tasty., I like the idea of using crispy bread crumbs in a pasta.



A week since you saw this recipe on TV and you’ve already made it twice? It must be good! (Don’t you just love finding dishes like this… easy & delish!)



I just picked up a tub of dry0cured olives, but I’ve just been snacking on them out of hand. This would be a much better use of them!

Just you wait, in a couple months my zucchini recipes are going to make you crazy. I always grow too much.

cook eat FRET


my kinda pasta
i’d love this one
in a restaurant, i’d order this in a heartbeat!



There is something about parmesan and courgettes that is magical! and I am the biggest fan of putting crispy breadcrumbs on top of pasta, love that texture. It looks beautifully summery.



I’m always on the search for quick, simple and delicious dinners. This seems to fit the bill perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

Laurie Constantino


the breadcrumbs are a wonderful touch on top of a very tasty dish – great grab off the tv peter – recognizing a wonderful dish when you see it is a true talent!



I have been cooking a lot with zuchinni and olives lately… this sounds delicious with a wonderful texture to it.

Peter G


So easy and quick…mmmm…bet the olives are fantastic in this…along with those toasted breadcrumbs!

Jen of A2eatwrite


I love pasta dishes like this – the fewer ingredients and the simpler, the better.

Peter M


Helene, the home usually takes on the smell of whatever’ cookin’ in the kitchen.

Panda, I luv these “under the radar” dishes.

Val. it’s satisfying and light.

Lori Lynn, did you ask? You better look around as they (fiddleheads) don’t last long.

Gracias Gloria.

Kevin, breadcrumbs are a poorman’s parmesan.


Glam, great frisbee weather.

Zen, merci!

CEF, at a restuarant they’d charge you $12 for it…make it at home.;)

Helen, that’s it – the texture…that wonderful crunch.

Sylvie, it’s a wonderful quick pasta dish, great for those days when you get home from work late.

Foodjunkie, what’s LFE?

Laurie, sometimes these dishes just leap out of the screen.

Parker, zucchinis are quite versatile.

Pete, don’t forget rustic!

Jen, the KISS principle is in force here.

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining


I think I see zucchini in there??? Lots of zucchini. This will be made in my attempt to eliminate my box of zucchini!



A Linguine-tastic plate of food Peter – I love your photo’s, which are as always excellent!



It surely looks very apetitosa :D

Yes, tell me about it, how hard it is to keep your track chico :D



That does sound good! Now that the warm weather is here, I find myself making more pasta because it’s a good choice for a quick and filling meal. Nice presentation!

Patricia Scarpin


Oh, Peter, lucky you I don’t live nearby, otherwise I’d be knocking on your door constantly. :)
This is luscious!



I love an easy pasta recipe that is delicious too. The addition of Nicoise olives and toasted breadcrumbs are what have me intrigued on this one.



As a pasta addict I thought I tried it all but I’ve never combined it with zucchini…it must have slipped my mind. It does sound like a delicious idea and will try it ASAP!

Peter M


Judy, I have lots of ideas for your glut of zucchini…a soup, grilled, fried zucchini sticks, ratatouille, stuffed zucchini, zucchini moussaka…

Jan, thanks for the Jan-isms!

Nuria, I’m still humming the Espanol Eurovision song!

Vicarious, don’t forget the olives.

Lisa, very vegetarian friendly this dish is.

Cynthia, enjoy’em anyway you wish.

Patricia, you’re lucky Sao Paolo & Toronto aren’t nearer!

Maryann, si-SI!

Lori, it’s a hit…you’ll see when you try it.

Lore, again this is an “under the radar” dish…so simple, why didn’t we think of it?

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)


This is the type of dish that’s great at any time of year. I’ll bookmark and save this recipe for zucchini season; you can never have too many great zucchini recipes!

Proud Italian Cook


You made it twice? It must be good!! I was checking out that book at borders, I’ll have to give it a try.



Wonderful pasta dish Peter and it’s always great to find new pasta recipes to try :) Thanks for sharing.



Now THAT is just the kind of pasta dish I’ve been missing these past few weeks. OK if I pop round for a bite?



Yum, what an excellent mid-week, just-got-home-from-work-and-can’t-face-cooking-much pasta dish! Thanks for sharing Peter :)



Nice pro-carb dish, Peter! I love the idea of bread crumbs on pasta. It adds a great crunch and picks up all the other yummy flavors you have in there. Great find! ;)