Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

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These strong flavors complement and never compete.

Everyone loves a delicious spaghetti dish. Kids slurp it up, adults indulge in its filling, comforting goodness, and everyone leaves the table feeling satisfied and sustained by the familiar flavor and texture of a pasta dinner. But how often do you see a spaghetti recipe that is brimming with health benefits, and packs in more flavor than you thought imaginable in a red tomato sauce?

This dish incorporates some of nature’s most flavorful ingredients. If you like bland foods, this recipe is not for you! Earthy olives pair with tangy capers. These two vegetables are rare in that their unique flavors stand out even in the presence of acidic, zesty tomato. When you add anchovies to the sauce, they simply melt into the mix, leaving behind only the salty flavor that is a star in the most flavorful of Italian dishes.

The tomato is a superfood and, of course, a nutritional powerhouse, filled with antioxidants including lycopene. Olives are a great source of iron, and help to fight heart disease and cancer. Capers also add a dose of iron, along with vitamin K. Preparing these veggies with extra virgin olive oil and serving the sauce on top of whole wheat spaghetti produces a dinner that is high in flavor and in nutritional benefits. Low in calories and fat, this dinner is an excellent addition to any healthy eating plan.

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Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

This spaghetti is far from bland with its Italian flavors that go beyond delicious.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 5 people
Serving Size 1.5 cups
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian


  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste optional but lends a lot of flavor
  • 14 ounces grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup black olives or green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Soak the capers in water for a few minutes then drain them. Crush them lightly with the back of a fork then set aside.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  • Meantime, over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the garlic until golden then discard it.
  • Add the tomatoes, anchovy paste, olives and capers. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  • If the sauce dries out, ladle some hot water from the pot you are boiling.
  • Season with pepper and add some salt if needed. Turn off the fire and cover to keep it warm.
  • When the water for the pasta boils, add some salt then add the pasta and cook following the number of minutes indicated in the package. Drain. Save a little bit of the water in case the pasta is too dry.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta to the saucepan with the sauce and mix well.
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 310mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Pasta, Vegetarian

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Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

Rowena is a recipe developer and food & travel writer/photographer from Italy with Asian roots. Creating healthy dishes in her own kitchen is priority. She believes there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that her family is eating natural & nutritious meals.

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