Monday, August 6, 2007

Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad

This is another quick and easy summer pasta dish using fresh basil. It is great as a bring along dish to summer parties or picnics, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. What's better than that when it's a zillion degrees out?

  • 1 lb fusilli pasta (spirals)
  • 16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 1 c shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 c fresh basil leaves chiffonade
  • 1/2 c oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (to suit personal taste, i just really like garlic!)
  • 2 tsp capers (drained)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to directions.
  • meanwhile place all the ingredients from the sun-dried tomatoes to the capers in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet and pulse until combined into a sauce. set aside.
  • drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 c of the pasta water (allow it to cool). rinse the pasta under cool water to about room temperature.
  • either in a large bowl or the pot used to cook the pasta (i'm all for doing less dishes!) combine the pasta, cheeses, tomatoes, basil, pasta water and sauce. season with salt and fresh ground pepper and mix well.
A yummy, quick, summertime meal that makes a ton without even hardly cooking - you gotta love it, I do!

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