So how did this receiver-of-hubby-high-praise come to be? Well, not far from our church is a grocery store that has a salad bar. Quite often on our way home from church on Sunday, we stop there and grab a quick salad for lunch. One day they had a pasta salad chock full of sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella (two of hubby's favorites), dressed simply with olive oil. Mark took a big ol' scoop.
After about two bites, Mark looked at me and said, "Can you make this?" Well, you all know how I love to figure out recipes ... so of course I said, "I think I can figure something out."
And I did.
So much so that this pasta salad has now become a household staple. And it gets Mark's super high praise every time!
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Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, & Fresh Basil Pasta Salad
Source: A Tracey original, inspired by a local grocery store salad bar
About 10 oz. cavatappi or rotini pasta
1 (8 oz.) jar sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, slightly drained and julienned
1 (12 oz.) jar marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained
1 c. green olives, halved
About 10 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
3 T. red wine vinegar
About 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
2. In a large bowl, combine sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Add pasta; toss to combine. Add red wine vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Mix well.
3. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.
4. As the salad sits, the pasta absorbs some of the olive oil. Drizzle with a small amount of additional olive oil and toss just before serving if salad needs to be 'moistened.'
- Whole wheat pasta can be used, no problem.
- You don't have to bother to drain the sun dried tomatoes much. The olive oil they're packed in brings fabulous flavor to the salad.
- For large artichoke quarters, I cut them in half ... so I guess that makes them 8ths!