Colorful Gift Basket and Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

Looking for a light, simple Thanksgiving Eve recipe this week? Try this Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce that only takes about 20 minutes to whip up for your family or guests!

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

I’m throwing out several ideas today, a simple 20-minute meal of Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce, setting the table with rust and blue, a wonderful way to give back to friends and family this holiday season, by creating a “Colorful Gift Basket.”

A colorful gift basket.

I remember this thoughtful gift so well, a Colorful Christmas Basket arrived at our front door, with all the goodies to make the perfect holiday meal for our family, including a beautifully thought out, handwritten menu!

Of course, it was created by my talented friend Krissy, with her beautiful writing and drawings, because she’s one of the most creative people I know.

A colorful gift basket idea

What a fun, unique idea, if you’re looking for something different to give this year.

Why not give a basket of food? In your own creativity of food combinations, and handwriting (or drawings, if you have the confidence), create a handmade menu and a basket filled with all of your favorite things!

Even though this gift was given to us a few years ago, the idea is wonderful and very easy to give, helping the person you are blessing the basket with to create a very simple meal!

Personalized menu.

Everything they need in one basket! Oh, and don’t forget the personalized menu!

My gift basket today would include pasta, green olive tapenade, and red pepper spread (DeLallo pasta, the other 2 items from Trader Joe’s, but you could buy any brand of either of these products).

Plus all of the other goodies, like Krissy included. So fun!

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

Thanksgiving Eve.

The simple meal that I’ve created is also perfect to serve this week for Thanksgiving Eve, when we’re in the kitchen preparing for the “big day” and wanting to serve an easy meal to our families. Or to guests? Do you have out-of-town guests arriving this week?

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade.

This Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade dish can be created in about 20 minutes!

Serve with a loaf of bread, a fresh green salad, and wah-lah … dinner is on its way! So perfect for a Thanksgiving EVE dinner!

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

Set the table.

Set the table with a few tree branches, putting them in a low-line vase. Add in a highlight color – my favorite is blue!

The blue dishes are Le Creuset (Caribbean Blue), and the white small dishes are Q Squared {Peony}.

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

From our recent DIY project on our back patio, replacing the original 1978 lighting with new ceiling fans (thanks to Lowe’s Home Improvement), I saved the glass ball fixtures, to repurpose as vases.

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

I placed the glass on a separate tin container, placed a few branches of leaves inside, added water, and we were set.

Blue and rust, so pleasing to the eye.

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

This pasta dish, pleasing to our tummies! Oh, and with fresh squeezed lemon with a tiny bit of zest. Yummy!

What will you be serving for dinner this week on Thanksgiving Eve?

Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce
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Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce

Quick easy dinner that takes about 20 minutes. I use DeLallo pasta and I bought the sauce ingredients at Trader Joe’s, but it can be purchased at any grocery store.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 6 -8


  • 1 pound dried spaghetti I use DeLallo
  • 1/4 cup salt plus salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 10 oz. jar green olive tapenade
  • 6 oz. red pepper spread I used Trader Joe’s but you can use any roasted red peppers
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large stockpot of water to the boil. Add 1/4 cup salt and the pasta; cook according to the package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place the green olive tapenade and red pepper (spread, or just roasted peppers) in a sauté pan and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta liquid. Transfer the drained pasta to the skillet of olive and pepper mixture, and add the lemon zest, herbs, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Toss well and add lemon juice and more olive oil to taste. Add a little pasta water if necessary, if the pasta seems dry.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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5 comments on “Colorful Gift Basket and Pasta with Green Olive Tapenade Sauce”

  1. Hello, question on this recipe. It calls for 1/4 cup of salt….. is that right??? Lol. Please let me know. I’d love to make this if that’s a typo. :)

  2. Excellent idea! I would love to get this gift. And I’ve been looking for some good food gift ideas for the holidays. As always, your photography is beautiful!

  3. Wow~Love this recipe.I am Making this today.
    Thank-You! :-)

  4. Loooove your friends note!! And this pasta has my name all over it!

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