Monday, July 20, 2009

Barefoot Blogger's Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I was really excited about this months Barefoot Blogger's picks. They were absolutely perfect for summer and both took advantage of in season produce. The first recipe was Ina's Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes. This dish took about 15 minutes total to prepare and could be served warm or cold. I chose to serve it cold. This dish has great Mediterranean flavors. The saltiness of the olives and capers balanced quite nicely with the flavors of the fresh ripe tomatoes. The mozzarella was basically a blank canvas to soak up all these wonderful flavors. I would recommend making this dish a day ahead to really allow the flavors to meld. I'm not a huge fan of most pasta salads found at pot lucks. They are often bland and slathered in salad dressing. Not an inviting dish to me. This pasta salad though had lots of flavor from the homemade sun dried tomato dressing. This dressing wasn't over powering but enhanced the dish. The dressing would be great for salad also. Thanks to Cat of Delta Whiskey for this great pick. I now have two go to recipes for pasta salad. My other favorite is this Pasta, Pesto and Peas recipe, also from Ina.
Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 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
  • 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 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.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Clarkson Potter 2002.

Here is a recent shot of my Aerogarden. I'm hoping next time I make this recipe to harvest my own basil. I can't believe how fast its growing!


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this one, definitely one of my favorite BB recipe picks!

Laura said...

I really think it's a keeper too!

You're going to LOVE your Aerogarden. I use mine in the winter, to grow herbs when most things in my herb garden outside have died. They're so much fun. Just make sure to check the water level frequently. Once they get big, they really suck it down quick!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Looks great. Love the garden.