Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Best Pasta Salad!

Clearly this is not the name that The Barefoot Contessa gives this recipe, but I happen to believe it is the best one I have ever had so I am going to go ahead and re-name it for her.  I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa and if I ever start posting recipes regularly again, you will most definitely see a trend in them.  I'd say half of everything I make comes from her in some shape or form.  I don't always follow them to a "T" and sometimes I will seek out other sources for a recipe, but she really is my go-to gal when it comes to food.  Especially when it comes to entertaining.  I love her simple style.  Ok, enough about my love affair with all that is Ina, let's get onto this pasta salad. 

Surely we all will get invited to at least a few BBQ's over the next few summer months and if you should ever wonder what to bring, just bring this.  Your friends will thank you!

Here is what you will need for the pasta salad:

Start by boiling the pasta, of course, but then you'll want to start on the sauce.  That is what makes this recipe so much different than the rest.  Usually you just throw in some oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and call it a day...not anymore!

Put your EVOO, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, capers, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until it looks like this:

This is pure delicious-ness!

Next, chop up your tomatoes, olives, and fresh mozzarella into chunks:

Once pasta is cooked and drained, throw everything together in a bowl and add some chopped sun dried tomatoes.

Then, add the sauce:

And the fresh basil:

Now you have the most delicious pasta salad!  And it was pretty darn easy, too!  Just another of the many reasons I love The Barefoot Contessa!

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes(aka The Best Pasta Salad)
Adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 pound fusilli pasta
kosher salt
Olive Oil
1 lb ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks
6 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
6 TBSP evoo
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon capers, drained
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt(adjust to taste)
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain well and allow to cool.  Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor until almost smooth.

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