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Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes Vegan Gluten Free Healthy Oil Free

This Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes is a recipe I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for a while now. It’s a recipe based on a meal I had at a cute little Italian restaurant a couple months ago in Lille, France.

You know when you try something at a restaurant you wouldn’t usually make at home and you instantly think, I need to recreate this in my kitchen. And though, this isn’t the exact dish I had at the restaurant that night, it incorporates all the flavors and olive-y goodness I remember from that unforgettable meal. 

basil black olive

Are you guys olive tapenade fans?! I used to be an olive hater. I couldn’t stand the idea of eating an olive – I didn’t even particularly like it when a little piece of olive accidentally landed on my pizza. That was until I discovered olives anew at J’s house a few years ago when I first met his family. I tried one to be polite and was instantly hooked to the salty, savory, and juicy flava of olives y’all. And now I seriously can’t get enough! Especially during the Summertime, I could eat olives for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta incorporates the fresh, rich and juicy flavors of black olives, yummy garlic, nutty walnuts, fresh basil and juicyyyyyy, sweet cherry tomatoes. YUM.

black olive tapenade

Even if you are an olive hater, you might still like this easy and simple meal if you are a fan of strong tasting olive oils. HOW do you like olive oil and hate olives it beats me?! (Seriouusly what was I thinking all those years, lol!). The black olives are blended together with fresh basil, cheesy nutritional yeast, starchy pasta water and walnuts to make a truly, creamy, cheesy and rich Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta!

And guys, I’m off to Tuscany tomorrow afternoon and can’t wait to be inspired by ALL the yummy, vegan, homemade Italian meals I plan on enjoying and discovering! I’ll be sharing aaallll the delicious eats I discover on my Ceara’s Kitchen Instagram account. I looveee being inspired by the new tastes, smells and textures I try when travelling. Do you have any must-see places or eats I should try while I’m away in Tuscany?! Let me know in the comments below! πŸ˜€ 

starchy pasta water

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Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

  • Author: Ceara
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


A creamy, salty, fresh and savory Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes. The perfect light and summer-y pasta dish for every olive and pasta lover out there!


  • 500 gr/ 17.6 oz rotini (reserve 1 cup starchy pasta water)
  • 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 heaping cup chopped walnuts

Basil Black Olive Tapenade

  • 1 heaping cups olives (without pit)
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 34 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive brine
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 heaping cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup starchy pasta water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)


  • Fresh Basil
  • Vegan Parmesan


  1. Boil the rotini according to the directions on the box in a large pot.
  2. Make the tapenade while the pasta is cooking. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy (black olives through to walnuts).
  3. Drain the pasta. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water for the tapenade and for sauteing the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water to the tapenade. Blend it together one last time.
  5. Over medium high heat, in the same large pot saute the cherry tomatoes and chopped walnuts with 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water for 5 minutes until the cherry tomatoes are lightly cooked. Stir in the tapenade, warm it slightly over the heat. Turn off the heat, and toss in the rotini. Add in the rest of the starchy pasta water if the tapenade is too thick.
  6. Garnish with vegan parmesan and fresh basil.


1) Use gluten-free pasta if you need this recipe to be gluten free.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Italian

ceara s kitchen

And y’all, it seriously makes my week hearing your feedback and seeing your delicious #CearasKitchen creations πŸ™‚ If you do make this Basil Black Olive Tapenade Pasta at home, leave a comment below and share your photos with me on Instagram @CearasKitchen (and remember to tag #CearasKitchen so I don’t miss it!) or share it on my Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook page. Wishing you a wonderful end of week!

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  1. Ceara, this pasta is just gorgeous! I love your pictures! And I’m not exaggerating when I say this might just be my favorite pasta that I’ve seen in a long time. I am practically addicted to black olives, so this sounds perfect. I love the fresh flavors in here! Pinned!

    1. <3 The walnuts really add such a flavorful dimension to this pasta sauce! Thank you so much, Lucie!!

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