This weekend was the National Book Festival, and The Pioneer Woman was one of the many exciting writers in attendance. Sadly, I was kind of late to her talk because I was helping these women who couldn’t figure out how to use the Metro farecard machine. And the photos I took didn’t really turn out very well. But, in honor of her fabulousness, I wanted to tell you about this pasta salad (which I switched up a little because I figured everything is better with artichoke hearts).
I heart sundried tomatoes. And the kind in a jar are much easier to deal with than the ones in a bag. All you have to do is drain them and throw them in the food processor.
Obviously you need some pasta. Fusilli works really well because the sundried tomato chunks stick in the grooves, which adds yumminess. But cheese tortellini would also be good.
These “cherry” tomatoes were more like golf balls. So I quartered them. You can just cut yours in half, if they are a normal size. It’s up to you.
I think the marinated artichoke hearts (in a jar, instead of a can) might have been better. But I’ve never met an artichoke heart I didn’t like. And though the Pioneer Woman uses Kalamata olives, I used these black olives that I had in the cupboard.
This seemed to make a lot more dressing than is pictured on Pioneer Woman’s blog. I just realized my jar of sundried tomatoes was almost twice as big, so that’s part of it. But it worked out.
Sundried tomato pasta salad (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
1 jar sundried tomatoes (11.7 ounces)
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound fusilli (corkscrew) pasta
1 6-ounce can black olives, halved (or Kalamata olives, if you prefer)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (cut into halves or quarters, your preference)
1 can artichoke hearts (or 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts)
10-15 leaves fresh basil, rinsed and chopped
1 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Combine sundried tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar in a food processor and blend until tomatoes are chopped. Add olive oil and and process until ingredients are mixed together.
Cook pasta until al dente (usually about 2 minutes less than package recommendation). Drain and allow to cool or rinse with cold water.
Toss pasta, olives, vegetables and 2/3 of dressing together until combined. Add 1 cup of cheese and more dressing if needed, then toss to combine. Serve with more cheese sprinkled on top.