Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade Pasta with Cauliflower & Pistachios (Vegan Friendly)

I made this the last week for dinner and we liked it so much, that I made it again this morning to be able to take a proper picture of it and write the recipe. I really dislike the lack of natural light during these colder months but it was a good excuse to make pasta again. I can never have too much of it.

This recipe is super simple and quick to make. I chopped all the ingredients for the tapenade by hand just to have bigger chunks. But you can also do it in the food processor. I made it using anchovies because I like the umami flavour that they give. But if you are vegan or don’t like them, you can skip them.


400grs of pasta, I used Mezzi Rigatoni

For the cauliflower:

1 small cauliflower, chopped into small pieces (about 4-5 cups)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of cayenne

1 teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of onion powder

For the sun-dried tomato tapenade:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, minced (from a can, preserved in olive oil)

1 tablespoon of capers, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ cup of Kalamata olives, minced

6 anchovy filets, minced (optional)

1 ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes or more to taste

Salt to taste. When I use anchovies, I don’t add any salt as they are salty enough

For the toppings:

1/3 of a cup of toasted unsalted pistachios

5 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley


Start by making the cauliflower. Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot; add the cauliflower, cayenne, celery salt and onion powder. Cook for about 6 minutes until it is cooked through and a bit charred. Don’t forget to stir from time to time.

To toast the pistachios, first finely chopped them. Then place them in a large pan over medium heat. Toast them without any oil for a minute or two while stirring. Make sure to keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn. Transfer them to a bowl and set them aside to cool down.

To make the sauce: mince the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic and Kalamata olives. If you are using anchovies, mince them as well. If you want to save time, you can also use a food processor for this. This time I just chopped them by hand.

Cook the pasta of as instructed on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, start making the sauce. Poor 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced tomatoes, capers, garlic, Kalamata olives, chillli flakes and anchovies (if using). Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Once the pasta is ready, reserve a bit of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce. I reserved about ¼ of a cup. Add the pasta, cauliflower, and a bit of the pasta water to the sauce. Cook for one extra minute while mixing, until everything is combined. Add salt to taste if needed.

Serve the pasta with the toasted pistachios and parsley. I also like to add an extra sprinkle of chilli flakes. Enjoy!

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Black Olive Tapenade Pull Apart Bread


I made this recipe a few months ago, and it has taken me forever to finally type the recipe.  I love tapenade and making it at home is so easy. It tastes so much better since you can adjust it to your liking.  Last year, I made some savory olive tapenade biscotti which I loved. It’s a tasty variation of the usually sweet cookie. You can check the recipe by clicking here.


Since tapenade goes so well on bread, might just as well incorporate it in a recipe right? The smell coming out of my oven was divine, it made me so hungry. My hubby and I ended up having the whole thing for dinner. Bread freshly out of the oven is just so good.

This recipe fits in a 19cm bundt pan but you can double it to make a bigger batch.


For the bread:

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 package of dry yeast (7gr)

¼ cup of warm water

1 tablespoon of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1/3 cup of milk

2 eggs

For the tapenade:

1 cup of black olives (I used Kalamata), pitted

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon of capers

3 anchovy filets

¼ cup of almonds, chopped

10 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper


Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.  Then add the rest of the ingredients. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.

Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, start making the tapenade. Just place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. Transfer it to a bowl, cover it with plastic film and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Grease a bundt pan with some vegetable oil and lightly flour your working area. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll one piece into a rectangle of about 34x24cm. Slice off the edges to make it an even rectangle. Spread evenly ¼ of the tapenade. Then using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into four slices lengthwise. Then cut each long slice into 6 squares. Then stack the squares on top of each other and place it in the greased bundt pan. Repeat for the remaining dough.


Once all the dough has been arranged in the bundt pan, cover it with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place. About 10 to 15 minutes before the hour is up, start preheating your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the dough has risen for the second time, bake it for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden on the top.

It is best when eaten fresh out of the oven. I could hardly resist waiting to take pictures of it!

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Olive Tapenade Biscotti


I am a big fan of olives; I think I could pretty much snack on them every day.  I thought of making savory biscotti by adding to it some black olive tapenade and fresh thyme. The tapenade gives it a nice marbled effect as well. They are really nice to eat by themselves or you can use it as a crostini and accompany it with some cheese, or any other topping that you may like. This recipe makes one log, about 26 pieces of biscotti.


Ingredients for the tapenade:

1 cup of black olives (I used Kalamata)

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon of capers

3 anchovy filets

¼ cup of almonds, chopped

5 sprigs of thyme

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

Ingredients for the biscotti:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

Pinch of sugar

85gr of butter, room temperature

2 eggs

½ cup of milk

8 sprigs of thyme

1/3 cup of the tapenade previously made


First make the tapenade. Just put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste.

To make the biscotti, first preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter, then add the eggs and milk.

Slowly add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and mix well. Finally add the thyme leaves and 1/3 of a cup of the tapenade. Mix well.


Place the dough in a floured surface and form a log. Place the log in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  The dough is quite soft so you will have to re-shape it a bit once it’s on the baking sheet.


Bake for 30 minutes. Then allow to cool down for about 15 minutes.

Lower the temperature of the oven to 150C/300F.

Transfer the log to a cutting board.  Using a bread knife; cut it into slices of about 1 cm thick.


Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for another 30 minutes.

After the timer is up, turn the biscotti and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.  Once cooled, keep in an airtight container.