A simple sun dried tomato pesto is combined with pasta in this easy side dish that everyone will love. It is a perfect for picnics and pot lucks and can be served warm or cold.
Photos Updated September 2014
I wanted to post something sweet because I have some really good recipes waiting to be posted, but more importantly, I wanted to get an entry into Ruth at Once Upon a Feast for the 6-month mark for Presto Pasta Nights!!
I was looking for an easy side dish for dinner this past weekend, and after searching through many of my cookbooks, nothing was really speaking to me. So I went online and looked at the recipes I have bookmarked, but still, nothing was speaking to me. Then an online search – at allrecipes.com – and within seconds I found what I wanted to make.
This pasta salad is not only very simple and fast to make, but it is good served either hot or cold. It would be great for a picnic or pot luck, as you wouldn’t have to worry about keeping it warm. Or cooked at home, you can serve it warm along with your dinner. My husband preferred it warm, right after it was made, but I liked it both ways.
I don’t have a food processor (maybe for my birthday next month?) so I just put everything in the blender and mixed it that way. I then stirred it into the warm pasta. The original recipe calls for orzo, but for some reason, the store I went to did not carry it. So my husband chose mini shells for this. I think it would have been good with orzo, but I actually think I would prefer it with the mini shells because they worked with the sauce really nicely.
- 2 cups small cut pasta
- ½ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
- ¾ cup fresh basil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve on top
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve a mug-full of the pasta water, then drain and set aside.
- Drain the tomatoes from the oil, reserving the oil. Combine the basil, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the tomato oil and continue to process until combined. Season with the salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the pasta and the sun dried tomato pesto and stir to combine. If needed, use some of the starchy cooking water to bring it all together.
- Serve warm or cold.
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