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Barefoot! Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

July 9, 2009


Wow. Not only is today my birthday, it’s my turn to pick what all of the lovely Barefoot men and women are cooking up this week!  When I joined Barefoot, I was so low on the list I calculated that it would be 2014 by the time I got to pick what our group would be making.  I remember the day I stumbled upon the Barefoot website. I was a newbie blogger (still am) and how no idea what I was getting myself into. I checked out the Rules & Req page and shot off an email to the wonderful Tara asking if I could please, pretty please be a part of her group.

I waited with bated breath for an answer.  When I clicked over to my email and saw Tara’s response I nearly squealed with delight.  I’d been accepted!  Of course, I had no idea what I was getting into, nor did I realize just how much some of the people I met along the way would end up affecting my life not only as a blogger, but as a person.


I actually agonized for weeks about my choice for Barefoot this month.  I wanted something summery and light.  I had stipulations though.  I wanted to be careful to consider the vegetarians in our group.  I didn’t want to make a dessert because I didn’t want to be responsible for 150 ovens being on in the dead of summer.  Finally, I chose Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad.  The dish was something I never would have made prior to my involvement with barefoot.  I’m just not that in to sun-dried tomatoes.  My taste buds have been changing though and the point of joining a group like Barefoot was to expand my culinary repertoire.  I sent my email to Tara with my choice of dishes and went about my day.  The next day I opened up The Pioneer Woman and… oh that can’t be! Stroke of good luck!  Ree dished up the salad and added pointers too!


Without further ado…

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

1/2 lb bowtie pasta
1/2 lb corksrew pasta (I used whole wheat for texture)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper flakes (my addition to give it a little kick)
1 lb fresh tomatoes
3/4 c good black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and roughly chopped
1 t capers (used about 2 t)
1 lb fresh mozzarella pearls
6 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (oops- forgot these)
For the Dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (I used 9-10)
2 T red wine vinegar
6 T good olive oil
1 clove garlic (I used 3)
Salt & Pepper to taste (easy on the salt)
1 c freshly grated parmesan
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, julienne

Taking guidance from The Pioneer Woman, I made the dressing the night before I served this.  (The only thing I did differently was add the parmesan in chunks to the food processor and make it a part of the dressing.)

For the dressing: combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes and capers in a food processor and process until almost smooth. Season lightly with salt and generously pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Drain well.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Allow to cool slightly, stir in fresh tomatoes, olives and mozzarella pearls.

Serve with an additional sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Results: Uh. WOW!  For something I never would have tried, this has now become one of my favorite dishes.  The Husband could not stop eating it.


I hope everyone enjoyed the choice… because, you know… I’m sitting here wringing my hands hoping everyone loved it as much as we did.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2009 07:07

    Cat…this was the perfect selection!! I was so happy making it, it was so delicious! Yours looks awesome, I love your photography!! Thank you for a great pick…I truly enjoyed it (and still am…:) )

  2. July 9, 2009 07:20

    Cat, I agree; this was a wonderful choice! I missed the Pioneer woman’s version. Will have to check it out. And a Happy Birthday to you. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  3. July 9, 2009 07:28

    We did love it as much as you – thanks for the super choice. I love it and will definitely make it again.

  4. July 9, 2009 07:37

    Thank you for selecting such a great recipe. I loved it and I don’t like sun-dried tomatoes.

  5. July 9, 2009 09:58

    Happy birthday! This looks like an amazing choice. I’ll be making it when I don’t have my husband around (I think it looks too good for my non tomato eater, he’ll be feeling bad for himself!) Hope you have an awesome day Cat! 🙂

  6. July 9, 2009 09:59

    What a great selection! We loved it in spite of missing a few ingredients! I’ll be making this again!

  7. July 9, 2009 10:02

    Happy birthday!!!

    This was such a great pick! I’m not the biggest pasta salad fan, but I loved the sun-dried tomato sauce. Ina knows her stuff.

  8. juju73 permalink
    July 9, 2009 10:15

    Happy Birthday, Cat!

    My husband loved this and wants more before summer’s end! You made a terrific choice!!!!!!

  9. July 9, 2009 11:31

    Great choice sweetie.

    We loved it.

    Happy Birthday.

  10. July 9, 2009 11:54

    Perfect for summer, great choice!
    I love this kind of salad, such a celebration of the season. 🙂

  11. July 9, 2009 12:49

    Thanks for a great choice this week 🙂 I really enjoyed making it!

  12. July 9, 2009 15:40

    Cat, I love this pick! I haven’t made it yet (hopefully tonight!) but just wanted to say Happy Birthday! My birthday is Saturday 🙂 Your pasta looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it.

  13. Kimberly permalink
    July 9, 2009 17:49

    Happy birthday, Cat! Great selection–we really enjoyed this one, and I’ll definitely make it again.

  14. July 9, 2009 20:20

    Great choice! Not a speck of this salad was left, so you know it was delicious. Hope you had a wonderful birthday.

  15. July 9, 2009 22:14

    Happy Birthday, Cat!! What a great recipe…it’s a keeper for sure. I hope you did something fabulous for your birthday!

  16. July 9, 2009 22:21

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for a great selection, we will be making this again soon–before the summer is over. Nice summer dish.

  17. July 9, 2009 23:07

    Are you kidding? I inhaled two bowls of it. I NEVER have seconds (takes up room that could be used for after dinner chocolates!) This was an amazing pick. Like you, I added the parm (and the basil) to the food processor. I like how yours looks with the extra sun-dried tomatoes. Great pick! Oh, and happy birthday!

  18. July 11, 2009 00:51

    Thanks for choosing. Never would have tried this one on my own and with a few little tweaks, loved it!

  19. July 11, 2009 11:49

    loved it! great pick, perfect for summer

  20. July 11, 2009 12:08

    Happy Birthday Lovely! This was an excellent choice. I brought it to a 4th of July party and everyone loved it. Yours looks divine. Great pictures.

  21. July 11, 2009 16:49

    Happy Belated Birthday! This was such an awesome choice. I am glad to have this on our list and it is definitely staying in the rotation.

    I hope you had a great birthday!

  22. July 11, 2009 20:43

    this looks great for summer, nice blog visiting from calm in the kitchen Rebecca

  23. Christine permalink
    July 12, 2009 16:34

    Happy Belated Birthday!!! What a great summer choice. Bet you can entertain a crowd with this!

  24. July 13, 2009 17:36

    Umm first off WOW you are talented in the kitchen 🙂 Second, this absolutely looks like one I’m going to have to try from my own kitchen. Happy belated birthday, as well!


  25. July 15, 2009 07:00

    Very good choice! My husband couldn’t stop eating this recipe either. Not something I would have tried on my own, but I’m so glad it was picked.

  26. Pamela permalink
    July 15, 2009 13:53

    So you let me try the dressing the night that you made it…did you not save any of the finished product for me to try??? Love ya DW!!

  27. July 20, 2009 08:55

    Thanks for a fantastic pick. I had this on my list to make and was so excited when I saw it was a pick. This was perfect for summer. Not only no oven but took great advantage of the in season tomatoes. We really enjoyed this dish and no doubt I will make it again and again!

  28. Melissa permalink
    July 20, 2009 13:52

    This was a GREAT choice! Absolutely delicious!

  29. smellslikehome permalink
    July 27, 2009 14:28

    I’m just posting about this today (slacker) but wanted to comment and say thanks for choosing such a great recipe!! And Happy Belated Bday – what a great gift!!! I’m so happy this group has been such a great thing for you and hope you will continue with us through the end…if we ever get there! 😉

  30. July 27, 2009 14:46

    OMG, I finally got around to blogging about this BB dish and I have to say THANK YOU for choosing it. It was fantastic! And my husband, just like yours, couldn’t stop eating it. I loved this dish. (Also, love the pictures that accompany yours!)


  31. July 29, 2009 20:50

    This was sooo good! thanks for the great recipe challenge!

  32. July 31, 2009 22:57

    Great choice – and happy belated birthday! My birthday is the same day (one of many reasons I didn’t get mine posted on time – oops!).


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