Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe lets the abundance of fresh summer produce shine.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Salad from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Every August, when we’re in the middle of a heat wave (check!) and I’m swimming in an overabundance of garden tomatoes and basil (check!), I turn to this Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes. My whole family loves it. Even my un-salad husband, which must be testimony to this pasta’s tastiness. It’s bursting with summer flavor and is perfect for toting along to a picnic at the park.

(This post was previously published August 2010. Photographs of salad and some of the text were updated August 2016.)

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Salad from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

I first made this salad for a friend’s bridal shower. Crazy how time flies by. I looked up how long Danielle and Kelly have been married, and they just celebrated nine years this summer. To raise a glass to Danielle’s upcoming wedding all those years ago, a bunch of us girls met at St. Croix Vineyards, near Stillwater, MN. We enjoyed some wine tasting in their beautifully restored barn and then a picnic lunch under a shady canopy of trees. Danae brought a tasty Asian noodle salad and I came bearing this Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes. For the occasion, I girlied it up a bit by using the very pretty campanelle pasta. It was a hit, and I’ve been making it ever since.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Salad from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Our girls like to use the super fun cavatappi pasta, as these photos show. Rotini would also be a great choice. Use whatever larger pasta shape you like!

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. larger sized pasta (I like to use cavatappi, campanelle, or rotini.)
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 c. kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tsp. capers
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, medium-diced (Or use mozzarella pearls)
  • 1/3 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

for the dressing:

  • 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tsp. capers, drained
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. packed basil leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts, optional

Directions:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil according to the directions on the package, taking care to not overcook. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, capers, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

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

Pour the dressing over the pasta. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, basil, and optional pine nuts, and toss well.

This salad keeps well, so you can make it early in the day. Add the Parmesan, basil and optional pine nuts just before serving.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Family Style”

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Salad from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Here are a few more summer salads you might enjoy:

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Salad from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

garden tomatoes from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

This post was previously published August 2010. Photographs of salad and some of the text were updated August 2016.