I'm always looking for a new pasta salad recipe to try in the summer. After all, it's one of my favorite things to eat in the summer! I have my pasta salads that I make repeatedly but they can get boring to eat over and over again. I came across this Barefoot Contessa recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog. She altered the original recipe a little bit as did I. I sort of did a combination of the two different recipes. The original Ina Garten recipe calls for fresh mozzarella which is also one of my favorite things to eat in the summer so I added that back in. I followed Pioneer Woman's recipe for the dressing and used my new hand immersion blender that I got for Christmas. It was very powerful and made the dressing just as smooth as a food processor. You can use the immersion blender for making dressings, malts, smoothing out soups and chopping up various things. It's pretty handy! This pasta salad was wonderful! I wasn't sure if I would like the sun-dried tomato dressing but the taste wasn't overpowering. It was just right. Even TC liked it and I really didn't think he would. I'm glad I have another pasta salad to add to my rotation!
1 7-oz jar sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
4 cloves garlic
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
16 ounces corkscrew pasta
1 jar Kalamata or assorted olives
1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
Several (10-15) basil leaves, chopped or julienne
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, medium-diced
Prepare dressing by blending sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar until tomatoes are chopped. Blend while drizzling in olive oil; continue blending until almost smooth. You will have more than enough dressing. I had some left over.
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water until no longer hot. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the pasta, add olives and toss together. Add remaining ingredients, tossing together and adding more dressing until the salad is coated to your liking. Sprinkle the top with a little extra Parmesan cheese.