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Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Feed a Crowd With Sun-Dried-Tomato Pasta Salad

The next time you attend a potluck, consider making this modern spin on a retro favorite: pasta salad. Portable, easy to make in large batches, not terribly temperature sensitive, and, most importantly, tasty, it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

What sets this salad apart from the rest is its zesty sun-dried-tomato dressing; made in a blender or food processor, it's a mixture of tomatoes, capers, and garlic, thinned with olive oil and red wine vinegar. A generous handful of parmesan cheese and fresh basil finish off this satisfying salad that only tastes better the next day.

Sun-Dried-Tomato Pasta Salad

Adapted from Ina Garten

Sun-Dried-Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  1. 12 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and divided
  2. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  3. 6 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  6. Kosher salt, to taste
  7. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/2 pound orecchiette or other small pasta
  9. 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  10. 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
  11. 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced (optional)
  12. 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  13. 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Directions

  1. Add half the sun-dried tomatoes, all the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to a food processor, and process until almost smooth.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package in a large pot of seasoned boiling water until al dente. Drain well, then toss with the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, mince the remaining sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, olives (if using), remaining sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, and basil to the salad. Toss to distribute evenly. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Serve at room temperature.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
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