I can’t believe I’m giving this one up. This is my favorite easy recipe to feed a crowd. I have made it for company more times than I can count. It is definitely a family favorite around our house and it couldn’t be any easier. I pretend it’s a well guarded secret recipe, but anyone who has eaten it could easily replicate it exactly. That’s the only reason I have the recipe myself.
One summer I had the privilege of traveling to Italy with my brothers. It was my first time in Europe and our only trip together as adults, just the three of us. I can’t express what a valuable experience this was, so I won’t even try. Anyway, this is a recipe post. While we were in Italy, we ordered Spaghetti Cecca and it was my favorite dish the entire trip. I came home and replicated it to the best of my memory and for 7 years it has stayed in our regular meal line up.
It’s almost embarrassing how easy this recipe is to make.
1 16 oz. package spaghetti
2 pints ripe red grape tomatoes, halved (or 5-7 medium tomatoes, diced)
1 11.1 oz. jar Kalamata olives (whole or halved)
10 large leaves of fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The longest part of this process is boiling the pasta, so start your water first. Follow the directions on your pasta package. While your water/pasta is boiling, give the basil a rough chop and drain the olives. Combine the olives, tomatoes, and basil in a medium mixing bowl.
As soon as the pasta is cooked al dente, add it to the mixture. You want it to be as hot as possible. No need to rinse, the oil will keep it from sticking together. Add the oil and salt and toss it all together well. That’s it. The tomatoes and olives sometimes fall to the bottom of your bowl, so you might need to scoop around the bottom with your spoon when you are serving it up.
*Although, traditionally cecca recipes are made with uncooked tomatoes, sometimes I like to warm them slightly if they have been refrigerated. If they are room temperature, I leave them as they are. To warm them, I just pop them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. It should not be long enough to make them mushy, but just long enough to knock the cold off.