Pasta with Toasted Seeds & Feta Cheese

This was the first recipe I made from the fabulous The Olive Oil Diet book and I’ll warn you right away – the picture isn’t very good.  In my defence, it smelt absolutely delicious and I was very hungry.  So, apologies, don’t let the photo put you off, it’s tasty and really easy I promise!


So, here, complete and unabridged as they say, is Judy Ridgway’s recipe for a delicious, summery pasta that is simple to make and sure to produce compliments galore if you serve it to family and friends.

Ingredients for 4 people:

400g pasta shapes; penne, shells or fusilli would be great

2 tablespoons each of pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and sesame seeds

6tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I suggest something quite robust or the flavour will get lost amidst the pumpkin, lemon, and feta)

Grated zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 2 (Actually, I remember now, I used the zest of 1/2 a lemon and the juice of 1)

20 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved*

250g feta cheese, crumbled

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1.  Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente or according to the packet instructions.
  2. Toss the 6 tablespoons of seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until well browned and popping and set aside until needed.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to the warm pan.  Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  4. Return the pan to the heat adding the lemon zest, juice, olives, and feta cheese.
  5. Season with black pepper and stir half the seed mixture into the pasta.
  6. Serve at once with the remaining seeds sprinkled over the top.

* Be careful when buying black olives as many of them have been dyed and chemically treated to make them black.  Read the label carefully and buy from a reputable store.

There, I told you it was simple didn’t I?

If you like this post please share it with your friends and remember, all feedback is welcome.  (I love that I’m writing a food blog and asking for ‘feed-back’)

Until next time,

Karen O

The Olive Oil Taster

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