Pasta with Kale, Olives & Candied Tomatoes

Pasta with Kale, Olive Tapenade and Candied Tomatoes

After a couple months of sad looking kale in the grocery stores I hit the jackpot the other day, finding a huge bunch of beautiful rather tender-looking kale for just $0.97.

Anyway, kale wasn’t actually in any of my menu plan dishes but I couldn’t pass up buying it and decided tonight was the night to improvise with a quick dinner.

Remember the olive tapenade I made here?

It does wonderful things super quickly with pasta. Kale does wonderful things with pasta. Oh, and of course tomatoes too.

The whole ‘candied’ tomato thing is really just oven-roasted tomatoes, which bring out the natural sweetness in them. I like to do this with cherry or grape tomatoes in the summer. And surprise, surprise, when I do it in the winter it really makes me miss summer all that much more.

Candied Tomatoes

I chose to do a spaghetti pasta here because I think it looks pretty with the chunky olive tapenade and the thinly sliced kale.

Pasta with Kale, Olives & Candied Tomatoes
  • 1 lb gluten free spaghetti
  • 2 cups olive tapenade (either homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 large bunch of kale, trimmed from thick stalk and thinly sliced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, sprinkle
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch red chili flakes, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with first amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes until nicely caramelized and shriveled up. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. Meanwhile, heat second amount of olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
  6. Add kale and toss to coat in olive oil. Cook down until just wilted.
  7. Add olive tapenade and toss to mix.
  8. Drain cooked pasta and add to the skillet. Toss with the kale mixture.
  9. If the pasta is super starchy you can add a bit of fresh water (about 1 cup tops) to help with the mixing.
  10. Add candied cherry tomatoes at the end and toss gently to prevent breaking up the tomatoes too much.
  11. Add chili flakes, if using and season with salt and pepper if needed. Remember the tapenade can be quite salty so you likely won't need to add much salt.


I thought this dish looked so beautiful. The simplicity of this recipe really makes it a great go-to weeknight meal that is quite elegant.

It’s also super amazingly tasty. I had a dream about it last night and woke up wishing I could eat leftovers.

Pasta with Kale, Olive Tapenade and Candied Tomatoes


  1. says

    This sounds amazing! I am not sure where you live, but I am in NC and we have beautiful kale at the market now. Kale grows here in the winter since it is mild.I agree though that the kale in the store is sad looking. Good luck finding more hearty kale!

    • Megan says

      I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada. In the middle of the cold prairie winters. (Though, the winter this year has been unseasonably warm and very kind to us.) The kale selection in the store is improving. I intend to try my hand at gardening this year and plan to grow my own kale. Other gardeners in the area say kale can last into late fall here so that’s a great thing!

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