Spaghettini with Olives and Capers, Vesuvius Style

Spaghettini alla Vesuviana

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

This savory pasta dish is from the area around Naples, hence the name “Vesuvius Style.” The rich flavor of tomato is necessary here, so good-quality canned tomatoes are best.

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 8 Sicilian-style green olives
  • 12 Kalamata olives
  • 1 to 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 pound spaghettini


  1. Coarsely chop the canned tomatoes.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Put the garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and lower the heat to medium. Season lightly with salt and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and no longer watery, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Fill a pot for the pasta with at least 6 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  4. While the tomatoes are cooking, slice the flesh of the olives from the pits. Coarsely chop enough of the oregano leaves to measure teaspoons. When the tomatoes are done, add the olives, capers, and oregano. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water, put in the spaghettini, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente, then drain it well. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve at once.


The sauce can be made through step 2 of the recipe up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Reheat the sauce before proceeding.