Looking for a simple pasta salad to add to your list of favorites? This was such an impressive and simple dish that the whole family loved! The pasta reminded me of one of my favorite pizzas, Margherita, with a nice and light sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Think of nice hunks of fresh mozzarella, some fresh basil, and parmesan – add in some pasta, served hot or cold, with sun-dried tomatoes…Delish! The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of kalamata olives (black olives) and a teaspoon of capers, neither of which I like or have on hand, so I left them out. I served this as a main course, but it could easily be a side dish. If your family needs a little protein, grilled chicken could also be added. My family has already requested to make this dish again, so I guess it’s safe to say it’s a keeper!
Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
For the Pasta:
1 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-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 extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
To make the Pasta:
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 the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
To make the Dressing:
Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, 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.
(This salad sits well, so you can make it early in the day. Add Parmesan and basil just before serving.)
Source adapted from: Barefoot Contessa Family Style