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Pappardelle with Rose Harissa, Black Olives, and Capers

Pappardelle with Rose Harissa

Servings: 4

Pappare means “to gobble up,” in Italian, which is the destiny of this dish (particularly in Tara’s house, where her husband, Chris, makes it most Sunday nights). I like it spicy, but the quantity of harissa can easily be reduced. Make 3 days ahead if you like and keep in the fridge until needed


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 3 Tbs. rose harissa (or 50 percent more or less, depending on variety)
  • 14 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, torn in half
  • 2 Tbs. baby capers
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. water
  • 3/4 cup  parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. 2 oz. dried pappardelle pasta (or other wide, flat pasta)
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt


  • Put the oil into a large sauté pan with a lid, and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and fry for 8 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until soft and caramelized. Add the harissa, tomatoes, olives, capers, and 1/2 tsp. salt and continue to fry for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the water and stir to mix thoroughly. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich. Stir in 1/2 cup of the parsley and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, fill a large pot with plenty of salted water and place over high heat. Once boiling, add the pappardelle and cook according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain well.
  • Return the pasta to the pot along with the harissa sauce and 1/8 tsp. of salt. Mix together well, then divide among 4 shallow bowls. Serve hot, with a spoonful of yogurt and a final sprinkle of parsley.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • jms65 | 03/14/2021

    I loved this dish! I think the capers and olives add enough salt, so next time I won’t add any extra. I would also add some whole garlic cloves to the simmering sauce.

  • Anna_M | 02/10/2020

    I have made this recipe 2 times. First time with the pappardelle, as the recipe suggests; but the second time, I used a short tubular pasta and we enjoyed it more. It is a fantastic sauce, and I look forward to making use of the rest of the jar of harissa I got just to try it.

  • mariehealy | 01/16/2019

    I made this recipe last week for a group of friends, and we all loved it! I did not find rose harissa at our local grocery store, so I used harissa paste instead. Since I wasn't sure if rose harissa would have been less spicy than the regular paste, I used less than half of amount. The result turned out great! The sauce was spicy and flavorful!

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