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Friday, December 4, 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pasta

This is one of my husbands favorite dishes.  I used to make it with grilled chicken since generally his idea of a meal has to include meat.  One day I made it without the chicken and he claimed it was even better! So, this is the way I make it now.

Tip:  Make the dish head of time without the parmesan cheese and basil.  This allows the flavors to come together nicely.  Add the parmesan and basil just before serving.

1/2 pound fusilli pasta (I use whole-wheat or tri-color pasta)
Olive Oil
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, chopped in blocks
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
10 large basil leaves, julienned

6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 garlic cloved, diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add salt and a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together.  Add pasta and cook for 9 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.  Drain well and allow to cool.  Place the pasta in a bowl and add tomatoes, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil, and toss well.

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