The Barefoot Contessa’s Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes
When Ina Garten first showed up on the Food Network in the early 2000s, I became a little obsessed (and I wasn’t the only one!). Her cookbooks were some of the first I’d seen with pretty pictures, easy instructions, and recipe descriptions that read like stories. I would take the books with me to swim team practice and sit under the umbrellas while my girls swam supervised, marking the recipes I thought my family would enjoy. Those were great afternoons for a young mom!
While many of those books have been around for a while, the recipes in them are still some of our favorites. Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes is one of them. From Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes that Make Everyone Feel Like Family, this pasta, according to Ina, was “one of the most popular summer salads at Barefoot Contessa,” her specialty food store in East Hampton, NY.
I used to make this for baby and wedding showers; it was a hit at our babysitter’s wedding shower in 2007, according to my notes in my (very worn out) book! Sundried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, tangy red wine vinegar and kalamata olives, and fresh basil come together in an easy and unique version of “pasta salad.”
This is an old but great recipe from Ina Garten, perfect for summer.
½ pound conchiglie, orecchiette, or fusilli
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced
¾ cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium diced
6 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
For the dressing:
5 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
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 slightly. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sundried tomatoes.
For the dressing, combine the sundried 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 cheese and basil, and toss well.
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