It was time for something new! I love my pasta pesto salad and my antipasto salad, but let's face it, sometimes you just want to move out of your comfort zone and treat your taste buds to something different. For my cousin's annual Father's Day picnic, I decided to try out one of Ina's pasta salads, this one in her Family Style cookbook. The recipe that follows is a modified version of her recipe. I've added some roasted red peppers which I'd just made and increased the amount of pasta. To adjust for that, I doubled the dressing.
Serves 6 - 8
3/4 lb fusilli
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 lb fresh mozzarella, medium diced
10 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
For the dressing:
10 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
4-5 slices of roasted red peppers
4 tbs red wine vinegar
12 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, diced
2 tsp capers, drained
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup freshly grated pecorino-Romano cheese
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Add salt to the water after it comes to the boil. 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 the sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, sprinkle with the cheese and basil, and toss well.
This salad gets better as it sits, so make it a few hours ahead, if you like.
This was a delicious dish and one that I will make again and again. The dressing would be equally delicious on a green salad. I particularly enjoyed the saltiness of the capers and olives juxtaposed with the sweetness of the sun dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers. The corkscrew shape of the pasta was perfect to catch all that wonderful dressing.