Spaghetti with Greek Olives (Island of Crete)

To me, almost all recipes from the Mediterranean Diet are comfort foods, but this dish is one of my “go-to meals” for when I want comfort in a hurry.  Even though you may think of this as an Italian recipe because it has pasta, it is actually from the island of Crete.  Packed with greens and olives and topped with Parmesan cheese, this is best served with a simple salad.  Sometimes, I also make sautéed tri-colored peppers with capers as a side dish.  For more recipes from the Island of Crete order our best selling book:  “Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World” by Koula Barydakis and Bill Bradley, R.D.

Spaghetti with Greek Olives (Island of Crete)

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 403 kcal


  • 3 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 ounces
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Greek olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked and kept warm
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, (1 Tablespoon per serving)
  • parsley for topping


  • Sauté garlic and red pepper in 1 Tablespoon olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the spinach. Sauté 1 more minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and parsley. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the olives and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the other 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Mix well and turn off heat. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve on warm spaghetti with grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.


Calories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 11gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 632mgPotassium: 880mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 8523IUVitamin C: 79mgCalcium: 148mgIron: 5mg
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About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.


  1. Konstantina March 2, 2021 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Such a simple tasty dish from the most beautiful island in the world!!!

  2. Linda Toste June 5, 2019 at 2:36 am - Reply

    This go to spaghetti dish with olives was so good.. I will be making this again

    • George Zikos June 6, 2019 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Great! Thanks for making it!

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