Pennette con le Olive Nere e Pecorino (Black Olives)

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound pennette (or penne)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 1 cup black olives (of your choice)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Pecorino cheese, plus more serving
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

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  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil. After about a minute, add the anchovies and allow them to dissolve. Mix in the olives. Stir well for about a minute and add the white wine. Allow it to evaporate. Add pepper to taste. Allow the olives to soften and get slightly golden.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente (2 minutes less than the package instructions). Drain the pasta, retaining 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the olives and mix well. Add in some of the retained cooking water if it seems dry. After about a minute, remove from heat and mix in the Pecorino.
  4. Serve immediately sprinkled with the remaining Pecorino and black pepper to taste.

Ed's Review

A news article on aquaphobia (fear of water) recently caught the eye of my daughter Veronica. She can't relate; she's a fish. But she knows me, and suggested that I somehow tie phobia into Sunday Pasta. Of course, I told her that I am fearless. In fact, however, I do suffer from a tinge of both claustrophobia (small spaces) and acrophobia (heights). I have no triskaidekaphobia (fear of my favorite number 13). As for peladophobia (fear of bald people), I only fear that I become one. And as for geniophobia (fear of chins), I only fear that I grow a double.

And then there's pentheraphobia (fear of your mother-in-law). It's the only rational fear.

In Manhattan, too many people suffer from carbophobia (the insane fear that 4 ounces of pasta will make you fat). And some have alliumphobia (fear of  garlic), which I equate to just plain boring. I'm sure that there are a few people out there who also fear olives and Pecorino cheese. And if so, this recipe is not for them.

Pennette con le Olive Nere e Pecorino isn't for the faint of heart. But fear not, it’s delicious.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

2 thoughts on “Pennette con le Olive Nere e Pecorino (Black Olives)”

  1. I have never used anything other than linguine or vermicelli with garlic and cured olives. But desperation is the mother of seeking, and lo and behold! I came across your very clever and humors post! lol I am now inspired to try the penne, for a nice change! I’m sure it will be every bit as delicious with the penne!!


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