green olive salsa verde with linguini

green olive salsa verde with linguini

This recipe is twist on an Italian salsa verde with the green olives adding a wonderful depth of flavour and meaty texture.

You can find similar permutations of this green sauce across a few countries cuisines.  The French do a sauce verte,  the Spanish a salsa verde , the Mexicans a salsa verde, the Germans a hessina green sauce and  the Argentinians a chimichurri . The origin is firmly Italian though, and its classic version is essentially made using parsley, garlic, capers, onions, anchovies, vinegar, mustard and olive oil.

More modern versions use a variety of fresh herbs and I simply love the simplicity of it and the huge flavour it delivers.  Its original use was as a dipping sauce or to add to meat or fish, but I love to use it like a pesto and stir it through pasta.

Now adding green olives presents a small, labour intensive challenge around the de-pipping.  Green olives are very hard to de-pip and unlike their black siblings, they don’t just pop out as easily when using a olive pipper.  I broke mine on the second olive, so decided to use the very fabulous ‘already de-pipped’ green olives stuffed with pimento from Mediterranean Delicacies.  The bits of chopped up pickled pimentos were delicious too.

Recipe (which will be enough for 2 hearty portions or 4 smaller ones depending on how much sauce you like):

  • 1/2 cup of green olives (de pipped) and then finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs chopped mint
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • juice of about 1/4 of a lemon (a small squirt)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl and then let it stand for a few hours or overnight in order for the flavour to develop and mix with the oil. Boil the linguini in salted water until al dente and then stir the salsa verde through this.

a rustic green sauce that is packed with flavour

Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. This delightfully simply lunch or supper goes well with a crisp glass of dry white wine and green salad on the side.

a fabulous alternative to pesto pasta

Mediterranean Delicacies can be found at select Pick n Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Spar, Fruit & Veg City and independent retailers nationwide.

To win a fabulous hamper of Mediterranean Delicacies products, visit their facebook page to enter.


  1. Looks stunning Sam! Such a fab idea x

  2. This is a sheer delight! What a gorgeous pasta dish and photos…beautiful 🙂

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