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)
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.