Recipe: Kate White’s Olive Cream Pasta

Here at Crimespree Castle in lovely downtown Milwaukee we are currently putting together a cook book.
Here is one of the featured recipes from the ever amazing Kate White

EyesOnYou_hc_cFrom Kate White, author of Eyes on You:

Olive Cream Pasta

I love traveling for all the obvious reasons—the pure bliss of being someplace new and exciting, all the sights to be seen and discoveries to be made, and of course the amazing food you can encounter both from smart planning and a bit of sheer luck. But there’s another crazy reason I love to take off for parts unknown. I do some of my best mystery writing when I’m in a new location, particularly if it’s over 80 degrees out.

I have no freaking clue why this is. Maybe it’s simply because my brain gets recharged in a fresh environment or the mysteriousness of the new surroundings make me think, well, mysteriously. The bottom line is that I never go on vacation without my laptop—and I try to write for about three hours each morning.

The recipe below is one I picked up on my third trip to Provence with my husband. We were staying at a wonderful old hotel in the middle of a vineyard, and though the food (included in the price) was amazing, the choices were fairly limited. One day at lunch we realized that the only thing we both could handle from the list of three entrees—unless we suddenly became fans of bunny rabbit or sweetbreads, and that wasn’t about to happen–was a very basic-sounding pasta dish. According to the description on the menu, it seemed to be made with what we thought was mostly olive oil. We worried a little grouchily that we would soon feel hungry again.

Well that didn’t happen. The pasta dish was divine, one of the dreamiest I’ve ever eaten. I took a chance and asked the waitress how it was made, knowing that restaurant staff rarely reveal a recipe, but this chatty waitress spilled the beans (or really olives, I should say), and she also showed me where in the hotel boutique I could buy the secret ingredient.

Because she wasn’t on the cooking staff, she only knew the ingredients not the proportions so I had to do a bit of guessing on those. You can fiddle with this as you want. You almost can’t go wrong.


–4.5 oz. jar of green olive tapenade (or “cream”). I use La Favorita Crema di Olive Verdi, which the hotel sold, and which I now order on Amazon.

–1/4 to 1/2 cup of heavy cream, heated to almost boiling.

–3 Tbs. or so of extra virgin olive oil

–1/4 to 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

–salt and pepper to taste


Empty the jar of olive tapenade into a pasta bowl. Cook a box of penne or farfalle according to directions. Drain and add to the bowl. Pour on some of the warmed heavy cream and a splash of olive oil and mix until the sauce coats the pasta. Now toss in the cheese and mix again. If the results are too clumpy, add more cream and a bit more olive oil. Season to taste.

This makes a nice lunch or a first course for dinner, as long as the main dish isn’t too rich. When I eat this dish it always brings back memories of summer in Provence, as well as the mystery I worked on each morning in dappled light near a cluster of olive trees.


Kate White is the New York Times bestselling author of nine works of fiction—six Bailey Weggins mysteries and three suspense novels, including, Eyes on You (June 2014). For fourteen years she was the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to concentrate full time on being an author.

Her books have received starred reviews from a variety of publications and she has been covered everyplace from The Today Show to The New York Times. Her first Bailey Weggins mystery, If Looks Could Kill, was named as the premier Reading with Rippa selection and soon shot to number one on Amazon. (And it’s now being made into an opera!). She is published in 18 countries around the world.

Kate is currently editing the Mystery Writers of America cookbook, a selection of recipes from many of the top-selling authors.

Like many mystery writers, Kate fell in love with the genre after reading her first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of Redgate Farm, and she still admires those cliffhanger endings that “Carolyn Keene” created.

She is married and the mother of two children, and once had her daughter stalk her through the woods so she could better describe the sounds of someone being followed.

Kate is also the author of several very popular career books, including I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve, and Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do.
Twitter: @katemwhite