Pasta Is A Dish Best Served Cold. And with Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

Food pictures can be erotic, can’t they? See if this picture makes your mouth horny:

Is that the first time I used the word “horny” in a post? I apologize. Did you know my 5th Grade teacher Mrs. White was fired mid-year because she let one of my classmates play that rap song that goes “Me So Horny” during an after class party and one of the mothers was offended. The Monday after that party we came to class and instead of Mrs. White, there was our principal sitting there telling us we’d have a new teacher. We were heartbroken. Ok, not really. We liked our new teacher better. But I wonder where Mrs. White is today. Is she dead? Does her tombstone say: “Me So Horny.” Ok, that was horrible. But maybe a teensy bit funny?

Let’s talk about pasta salad. Pasta salad is incredibly easy to make and incredibly rewarding. All you need is pasta, stuff for dressing, and other stuff to throw in. It’s all very casual. Very cazh. Wear your sandals.

We get this recipe from—come on now, say it collectively: THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA! But it’s from a book one of my readers’ bought me: Barefoot Contessa Family Style which completes my collection. All I need now is Ina’s BMW and her Hamptons home and I’m set.

Here’s what you need:

1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta

OH NO! I thought it said a pound and I used the whole box! That’s why my pasta’s not terribly coated with dressing. But ya know what? It still tasted great. How come it’s not until I type out these recipes that I realize I made mistakes? That tells you something about recipes. Or maybe it tells you something about me.


Kosher salt

Olive oil

1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced

1/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced

1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

2 Tbs red wine vinegar

6 Tbs good olive oil

1 garlic clove, diced

1 tsp capers, drained

2 tsps kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned (Or Julianned, if Julianne Moore is present)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking. Boil 12 minutes or according to directions on package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.


Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and basil and toss well.


So just imagine: I made this wrong and I loved it, how great will this taste when you make it right? And then you can take dirty pictures of it like I did and put it in your wallet. Just don’t let it get you fired like Mrs. White got fired. You need your job to pay for the olives. Unless you don’t like olives. In which case, take all the pictures you like.

12 thoughts on “Pasta Is A Dish Best Served Cold. And with Sun-Dried Tomatoes.”

  1. Are you fucking with us, AG? It’s like when you wait two hours in a restaurant for the food to come, then they bring you a bowl of soup, a big salad, a 24-oz. ribeye, and a slice of cheesecake all at once. Overwhelming! (Something similar once happened to me at P.F. Chang’s.) But seriously, I want some of your salad. Actually, I’d like to pluck a sundried tomato out of your food processor and eat it right now.

  2. you know why it still tasted good with twice the pasta? because ina ALWAYS over-dresses her stuff. whenever i make her recipes i reduce the oil by 1/3 and it still tastes divine…

  3. Explain something to me: How come you have to drain the oil from the SDTomatoes, then add olive OIL? Wouldn’t it make more sense (and more flavor?) to use the the SDT oil? I sometimes don’t get recipes.

  4. I just made this recipe, the first I’ve tried off the site. I think it was the photo that compelled me to take the next step of purchasing the tri-color rotini. Then I was locked in. I’m so excited with how it turned out, I might try to make the Janet Jackson breast cupcakes next. Thanks, AG.

    Question, though: is fusilli the same as rotini? Publix didn’t have any fusilli, and rotini is spiraly, so my needs were met all the same.

  5. I followed the recipe exactly. I didn’t think it was too oily and I am sensitive to oil. It was however a little bit too salty. Next time I will cut down a bit on the salt.

    I tried this dish for the first time at a baby shower and loved it. I found out it was a Barefoot Contessa recipe so I searched for it. It is an awesome dish and I normally hate pasta salad.

  6. My friend showed me this blog, as I had been instructed to bring pasta salad to a gathering. Having never made it I was a bit worried, even if it is supposed to be simple.

    I LOVED it! I added the basil to the dressing by accident but it’s still excellent. Also, I used multicolored rigatoni. Gorgeous and delicious. Would it be bad if I skipped the gathering and ate pasta salad until I burst?

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