Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ina's Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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
serves 6-8

1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
kosher salt
olive oil
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.


  1. Looks beautiful and perfect for a summer salad. I've been craving cold pasta salads lately. Yum!

  2. This was a good salad...and I'll definitely take your tip of using the dressing for other things...It was good stuff.

  3. I mean it, that dressing is so packed with flavor! I made a double batch of the dressing and drizzled it over grilled scallops tonight--yeah!

    Also, have you girls been hearing about the positive benefits (re: glycemic index) of eating carbs (even white carbs like rice, potatoes, regular pasta) when they've been chilled? For some reason, the chemistry changes and they don't send your blood sugar soaring?

    So let's bring on the chilled salads, shall we? Apparently, it will make our asses smaller, so I'm all for it! :)

  4. Wow, what great additions, feta will be the next thing I try with this pasta. Thanks for the idea! Great photos by the way.

  5. Beautiful colours - looks the perfect dish for the summer!

  6. is that your photo or hers? fancy and beautiful. i'm going to make this now. my kind of dish

  7. Siren, you just made my day! I am the Queen of Shitty Photos, and you are the only person who has ever asked if a photo hasn't been taken by me. I am psyched!

    Confession: my hands were wicked shaky that day and Awesome Stepkid R took the pics. The kid has a great eye...too bad he leaves for school mid-August. Photos will then again be shitty.