Barefoot! Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
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)
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.