Mixed Nuts with Raisins, Capers and Olives

Secchio Della Munnezza

This recipe for ‘garbage pail’ pasta, so called because it uses the dregs of almost everything in the store cupboard, came to me via the inimitable Faith Willinger. She, in turn, discovered the recipe at e’ Curti in Sorbo Serpico in Campania. Curti means ‘the shorties’ — so named because the restaurant was founded by a couple of diminutive members of a travelling circus.


  • 200 g spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon each of shelled walnuts and hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 60 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, soaked until tolerably salty and drained
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 5–6 black olives (Gaeta are best), pitted and roughly chopped


First chop the walnuts and hazelnuts. Put the pasta in the water straight away, and everything should come together at the same time. Brown the chopped nuts gently in oil, when they are a pleasing colour add the pine nuts, raisins, tomatoes, capers and oregano and cook over low heat until the tomatoes start to melt. Add the parsley and olives, and salt to taste.

Drain the pasta when a little more al dente than you like, and add to the sauce along with a small ladle (60 ml or so) of pasta water. Sauté together for a minute or so, adding more water if the sauce dries out.