Thursday, July 9, 2009
Barefoot Bloggers picked a great Ina recipe for the 4th of July weekend. I've made her Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes many times, and it's always a crowd pleaser. It can be made ahead and served either at room temperature or chilled.
And I like this recipe because you can totally riff with it and not mess it up. I tossed in some grilled zucchini this time, but I've also tossed in cooked chicken. If you don't have mozzarella on hand, throw in some feta. Marinated artichokes? Absolutely. Parsley instead of basil? Sure.
The only thing you need to remember is that if you make it ahead of time, stir in the fresh herbs right before serving it. Oh, and re-taste for seasonings right before serving. If the salad seems dry, add a glug or two of extra-virgin olive oil.
Another bonus: if you have leftovers, they'll be good for a couple of days.
Ina Garten's Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Barefoot Contessa Family-Style
1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
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
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes or according to package directions. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and basil, and toss well.
**Note from me: I have made the dressing, just by itself, and brushed it on grilled fish and grilled vegetables. It packs a lot of flavor and is terrific that way.