Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This Ina Garten recipe has been a go-to pasta dish that I've been making since college. It's one of those meals everyone always loves (though some of my friends have been know to pick out the olives). The flavor combinations of the capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella make this pasta hard to resist. I usually go back for seconds and thirds when I make this, and will gladly eat the leftovers for lunch.

Though the dressing tastes better if you can puree it in a food processor or blender, I've made this in kitchens where neither were an options and just chopped everything as finely as possible. The result was still delicious, even if the dressing was not as smooth. I once made this without any basil, but do not suggest doing so as you will feel like something is missing from the dish. Ina finds a way to feature all these different flavors in one delicious tasting pasta dish. I like this past most served at room temperature. Give it a try on a night when you don't feel like spending hours in the kitchen for a tasty dinner.

Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 6 to 8

3/4 pound fusili or penne pasta
salt and olive oil, for boiling pasta
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the Dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add a splash of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Add the pasta and cook until done. Drain and allow to cool slightly. In your serving bowl, combine the pasta with the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and 6 sun-dried tomatoes.

In a blender or food processor, combine the 5 sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.

Top the pasta with the dressing, Parmesan, and basil and mix to combine. Serve at room temperature. Pin It Now!

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