Sun-dried tomato pasta salad

As I already mentioned, my brother-in-law’s family came over this Saturday.  I wanted to make a simple dinner and what’s more simple than grilling on a hot summer day, right?  Since we had hosted for Memorial Day, I wanted to do something a little different from the usual hotdogs and hamburgers.

I winded up grilling sesame ginger chicken breasts, lemon ginger shrimp kebab, and turkey dogs for the kids. I also made some corn on the cob, string beans and Pioneer Woman’s  Sun-dried tomato pasta salad.  I threw a fruit salad together for dessert because Saturday winded up being too hot to bake.

When I say hot, I mean oppressively hot.  So hot we really should have been at the pool hot. So hot that my younger nephew had rosy red cheeks the entire night.

So hot that by the time we sat down to watch Harry Potter, I was drifting in and out of consciousness on the living room floor.  Heat and fatigue does not mix well.  Good thing I’ve already seen Chamber of Secrets at least 3 or 4 times.

Dinner was a success.  Everything tasted great.  Soso didn’t even touch the hotdogs. She ate the shrimp kebab including the zucchini and the peppers.

The biggest success was Ree’s pasta salad.  When I tasted it, I was a little scared that people wouldn’t like it.  It had a very strong garlic taste.  But even my super picky nephew liked it!  I may leave out a clove of garlic next time anyway, but this recipe is definitely a keeper.  The only thing I changed was the pasta.  I normally have fusilli/rotini pasta in my pantry, but of course not this time.  I used farfalle (bow-tie) which worked like a charm.

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Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15 mins      Cook Time: 15 mins
 

Serves: 6 -8

Ingredients

Dressing: (can be prepared a day ahead)

1 jar sun-dried tomatoes (7 oz)
3 -4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Salad:

1 lb pasta (fusilli, rotini, farfalle or any pasta that will hold dressing well)
6 – 8 oz pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
10 – 15 basil leaves, julienned
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions

Combine sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and vinegar in a blender and chop for a few seconds.  Continue to blend while drizzling in olive oil until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Cook pasta in salted boiling water.  Drain, rinse in cold water and drain well.

Put pasta back in the pot and pour 2/3 of the dressing and mix well.  Add the olives and tomatoes and toss.  Add the basil and cheese and toss until well mixed.  Add more dressing if needed.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes:

I found that the sun-dried tomatoes salty enough that I didn’t need extra.   I used grape tomatoes because in general, I find supermarket cherry tomatoes to be too large and tasteless.  I found the dressing to be more than enough for a pound of pasta.  Next time I will either make more than 1 lb of pasta or reduce the dressing ingredient by 1/4 cup.

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