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Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I may not be a very good cook, but I am an excellent “compiler of stuff”. I first saw the Barefoot Contessa making this Pasta Salad on her show a few years ago and have been making it religiously ever since. It tastes even better the next day (if I can get to it fast enough before it mysteriously disappears).  It also makes a fabulous lunch when served with fresh crusty bread.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes.jpg

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Serves 6 - 8 hungry men. Or 20 dieting women.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (250g) fusilli (spiral) pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound (500g) ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
  • 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
  • 1 pound (500g) 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
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Directions

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, 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 and basil, and toss well.

My tips:

  • This can be made in advance, as the flavours develop the longer it sits. Just add the Parmesan and basil right before serving.
  • If you like your food less salty, use half the amount of kosher salt or omit the capers.
  • Buy the multi-coloured fusilli pasta if you can find it.
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