Pasta With Kalamata Olives, Lemon, and Tomatoes

1 pound dried orecchiette pasta or similarly sized pasta
2/3 cup kalamata olives , pitted and halved, or 2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons anchovy paste (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Roma tomatoes or 1 to 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, plus additional to taste
1/4 cup torn basil leaves or chopped parsley leaves
Parmesan, feta or goat cheese, grated or crumbled, to taste


Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the olives or capers, oil, lemon zest and juice, anchovy paste, if using, salt and plenty of pepper. Set aside.

If using Roma tomatoes, chop them; if using cherry or grape tomatoes, halve them.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the olive or caper mixture, tomatoes, red onion and basil or parsley and toss to combine. Transfer to individual bowls and top with cheese. Serve immediately.