Ina’s Garden…Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I was excited when Chaya chose Pasta with Pizzaz as our Ina’s Garden theme.  I’ve long had my eye on her roasted shrimp and orzo recipe, especially after I watched the episode in which she made it.  The husband is crazy for shrimp, so I thought he’d enjoy it; however, as I recently seem to be caught in a maelstrom of chaos, I never got around to buying shrimp much less making the recipe.  So, I hit the books, cookbooks, that is, and I found Ina’s recipe for Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes.  I scoured my pantry, found all of the ingredients, and I tossed it together.  Literally.  This is one easy recipe that comes together in less than 20 minutes.  While the pasta boiled, I made the dressing and diced the tomatoes.  After I drained the pasta, I poured on the dressing, tossed in the tomatoes, black olives, and gave it all a good swirl with a spoon.  After a good chill in the refrigerator, I brought it to work where we added the basil and parmesan to our individual bowls.  Let me tell you, this was a big hit with my staff – they loved it, as did I, and I will definitely add this to my summer pasta repertoire, i.e., Memorial Day and 4th of July.  Additionally, the dressing is over-the-top delicious!
The next time we all meet up will be on June 2nd, and it’s my turn to host – yippee!  I chose tabbouleh; you can find the recipe below and here.  I hope you all join us today with any Ina recipe and definitely on June 2nd with your take on tabbouleh.  The link will be open for several days to allow you lots of time to do so.  In addition to Ina’s cookbooks, you can find her recipes at Food Network and The Barefoot Contessa.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1/2 lb rotini or fusilli (spirals) pasta
1 pounds ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced (I used mozzarella pearls)
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used white wine)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove (I used 2)
1 teaspoon capers, drained
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I used shaved)
1 cup basil leaves, julienned

Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta cooks prepare dressing:
Place all dressing ingredients in food processor and process until smooth; set aside until pasta is cooked.
Drain pasta and toss with dressing.
Add tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
Sprinkle on Parmesan and basil before serving.

1 cup bulghur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 lemons
1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced green onions, white and green parts, about 1 bunch
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, about 1 bunch
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, about 1 bunch
1 hothouse cucumber, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon black pepper

Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate.


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