kale, ricotta & mushroom spaghetti

a plate with black souri olives on top of spaghetti kale and ricotta

The flavour-hit from Zejd’s souri black olives brings an all important “umami” quality to kale, ricotta & mushroom spaghetti. Lebanese black olives epitomise the “essence of deliciousness”, or “umami” in Japanese. While the backbones of this dish are kale, ricotta and mushrooms, they need the salty, almost “meaty” taste of these Lebenese olives to bring the spaghetti alive. The dish came about, like so many, from having a few things in the fridge with no fixed recipe in mind.

We used supermarket ricotta which won’t give the texture of real ricotta but it’s easier to find. Look out for Westcombe ricotta, they have good distribution points in the south west of England and it’s delicious eaten straight from the pot with a few olives and good bread. While the ricotta adds creaminess, it’s Zejd’s black souri olives which add the flavour.

Tempted to grab a pitted supermarket variety of black olives for this dish? They’ll lack the flavour a dish like this needs, and will bring nothing other than salt to the dish. Besides, removing the pits from the soft juicy souri olives is easily done. Squashing them with a flat knife, the pit will come away cleanly. If you have a BBQ, the pits can be washed, dried then added to the charcoal as fuel in warmer months. In Lebanon, braziers fuelled with olive pits were once used as a heating source in mountain houses. 

If you don’t have kale, some shredded swiss chard or spring greens would work too. Keeping the lid on helps to build up some steam to cook more robust leaves. 

serves 4


1 onion, sliced finely
2 tablespoons of Zejd EVOO
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
300g kale, or any dark leafy greens – spring greens, Swiss chard leaves, true spinach leaves, roughly chopped
250g ricotta
100g Zejd souri black olives, pitted and roughly chopped, plus a few extra pitted olives for garnishing
Aleppo chilli pepper or a drizzle of Zejd chilli infused oil
salt & pepper
300g spaghetti 


  1. Warm Zejd’s EVOO in a large frying pan and add the sliced onion. Gently fry until soft before adding the sliced mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms and the onions have taken on a little colour. 
  2. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to a pan of salted boiling water and follow the cooking instructions.
  3. Raise the heat under the frying pan, and place the chopped green leaves on top. Stir as the leaves as they wilt and when tender turn the heat down. 
  4. Tip the ricotta into the frying pan along with Zejd’s souri black olives and stir well. 
  5. Once the spaghetti is al dente, add to the saucepan with a ladleful of the cooking water. Grind in some black pepper,  and scatter 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a generous pinch of Aleppo chilli pepper to the mixture and stir thoroughly.
  6. Divide between the plates, adding some reserved pitted black olives to each serving with a sprinkle of Aleppo chilli pepper or a drizzle of Zejd chilli infused oil

Serve with some crisp lettuce leaves and a lemony salad dressing made with Zejd’s EVOO. 

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