Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

You know how I said a while back that side dishes give me a mini panic-attack? Things have changed and I want to share the recipe that helped change it all. It was time to make a pasta salad for a friend’s gathering and I looked high and low for something interesting. Memories of my first teenage pasta salad came flooding back, where I tried to wing it with terribly bland results. Thanks, memories. I stumbled on this recipe and saw sundried tomatoes-good, garlic-good, pasta-good. Ok, let’s do it. Marc and I loved this salad. Everybody at the party loved this salad. You will love this salad. It is bursting with my favorite flavors and get this…somebody thought the sundried tomatoes were tasty bacon. For some people, that’s the highest compliment they can pay.

Recipe: Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 jar of sundried tomatoes, in olive oil (around 7 oz.)

4 cloves garlic (less, if you like)

3 T. red wine vinegar

3/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

16 oz. corkscrew pasta

1/2 C. capers

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

10-15 basil leaves, chopped

1 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1. To make the dressing add the garlic to the food processor and chop the garlic well. To the garlic, add the sundried tomatoes, a few grinds of pepper and vinegar in a food processor until tomatoes are chopped. Use any remaining olive oil from the sundried tomatoes to a 3/4 C. measuring cup and fill the rest of the measuring cup with your favorite extra-virgin olive oil. Turn food processor on again and slowly drizzling in the olive oil.

2. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until the past is no longer hot. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the pasta and add the capers and toss together. Add remaining ingredients and toss until combined. Taste for salt at this point because the Parmesan and capers add a nice saltiness on their own. You can sprinkle with more cheese before serving, if you like.

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