Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Total Time:
27 min
15 min
12 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
  • 3/4 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 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the 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 and basil, and toss well.

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Pairs Well With
Pinot Grigio

Citrusy, light white wine

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    161 Reviews
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    Definitely use 1 lb of pasta!1 It works out perfect if you do and it's yummy!!!
    Love this recipe! A great summer favorite we have made several times thes past couple of years! You can add other favorite ingredients. We add a little more tomato. If you think it might be too salty, easily adjust to taste! Very fun and a great blending of flavors in the dressing! For my large family, everyone raves about it!
    I am with everyone else on this one,It was exceptional, and I am not a huge pasta salad fan. I made this for Easter dinner, as I had several guests who typically just pick at most green salads. Not only did everyone absolutely love it, I loved it. What I particularly loved about it was the amount of feta. It was perfect. It was also very easy. 100% of my guests absolutely raved about it. I will make this again, just for my husband and me as a meatless meal. It had a restaurant quality taste. Superb!
    Honestly, how are people liking this? There were so few bad reviews that I thought it would be a great recipe - it's not. The salty taste most people are complaining about is the overabundance of cheese and the sundried tomatoes which, as an absolute lover of it, I was surprised just how overboard she went with the amount. It's entirely too much and as someone else pointed out, you're wasting your money on the mozzarella. You can't taste it for anything, and that's using a very fresh amount. 
    All in all, a severe disappointment.
    Absolutely delicious!! I would be proud to take this pasta salad to any event and sit back and receive the compliments. My husband loves it!! Thank you Ina for a wonderful recipe that I'll be making for a very long time. My new favorite pasta salad!
    This was great but to make it more hardy, I added Italian sausages and I used to whole 16 oz box of pasta. Also I added artichoke hearts, pine nuts and basil and more capers to the pasta.
    This is my favorite pasta salad of all time! A must-make for family and friends :  
    I made no modifications and my family loved it! The capers and olives add a nice salty taste, but not overpowering. Easy to make. Since I was only serving 4, I froze the extra sauce for another meal.
    I served this at a garden baby shower I hosted and it was huge hit. I love it! Fresh mozzarella is a must. Expensive aged parmesan is also a must. This is not an inexpensive salad, but a wonderful side dish that is sure to impress. I like a wet pasta salad so I made 4 times the salad dressing and dressed it in advance with 3/4. I reserved 1/4 of the dressing which I added when it was served. Thank you Ina!
    Delicious! I omitted the mozerella. I also added basil for the dressing, about 6-7 basil leaves, julienned. It even taste good without it. I made this for a potluck. All raved this pasta salad. They thought I bought it from an authentic Italian restaurant.
    This was awful - a total waste of the motzarella cheese - you did not notice it at all in the taste - I added some blanched asparagus cut into big pieces because I thought the salad was lacking - that part was good - overall it was a waste of ingrediants....this is one recipe I will not be making ever again !!!!
    Excellent recipe and one of my favorite pasta salads. Great for potlucks, baby showers, and picnics! I agree it's a little on the salty side. I usually decrease the salt and cheese slightly and omit the capers.
    I put the dressing into the pasta when the pasta is still warm, and let it sit for about half an hour to let the pasta soak in the flavor and it tastes amazing! This is great for main course or use as a side dish. I only put half teaspoon salt in the dressing cuz I already put salt in the water when cook the pasta.
    It was super salty. My family and I couldn't even finish our plates. If I try this again I will omit the salt in the dressing and get the tomatoes in water.
    Loved it! This pasta is soooo good!!
    This recipe is amazing!! My family enjoyed it very much! ;
    Another fabulous recipe from Ina! So good, fairly easy and just delicious...especially late summer when all the veggies are in bloom!
    This was amazing; however here is another option. I first made this for a Valentine's Dinner as a cooking assignment for school. I had all the ingredients right and did everything perfect except I forgot to put the dreesing ingredients in a blender. I just threw them into the mixture and served it that way. I haven't made it the way the recipe says EVER. I like it better this way. = Just a little mix up that tastes delicious. Give it try sometime y'all.
    I was disappointed in this recipe. I was having a large crowd and from the reviews I felt this would be a real crowd pleaser. Only about 1/3 of my guests really enjoyed it, everyone else thought the sun dried tomato taste was too overwhelming. I might try it again only using the sun dried tomatoes for the sauce, leaving out the ones that went into the pasta itself.
    I love this recipe! So easy, so delicious! Having it tonight with a baguette and wine and cookies for dessert. I have also made this with feta and just as good.
    If you are looking for a great cold summer pasta salad, this is the one for you. It is amazing and tastes even better if you let it sit overnight.

    A few tips:
    - Use Corkscrew shaped pasta (Mueller's makes it) - it is a great shape
    - Make sure to only use half the box of pasta unless you plan on doubling all the ingredients
    - Use a good quality mozzerella and parmesan for enhanced flavor
    - I used a few extra sun-dried tomatoes as I bought a huge jar

    You can see a picture of my pasta salad on my blog. You can google jessica-thebookcook and that will take you there.

    Great recipe, Ina!
    This was insanely delicious! We didn't use capers, used half the salt, half the pepper and quinoa noodles to make this a complete protein/dinner. Next time, we will add peas or broccoli!
    super yummy and quick to make :)..Thanks Ina
    My favorite pasta salad of all time -- I make this multiple times throughout the year, but definitely the most during the summer!  
    For those of you who think the original recipe is too salty I have a different version that I now use from a time when I forgot to purchase sundried tomatoes. I was able to create a nice alternative for the dressing that worked out wonderfully. I used about 3/4 cup of tomato paste, about 4-6 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 2.5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a garlic clove, and a pinch of cayenne because I like things spicy. I always have omitted the capers, use 1/2 cup of kalamata olives, and I use double the fresh tomatoes which seems to make this salad taste ultra fresh. If you thought that the recipe was a bit too salty initially try it with the changes that I made, and I think that you will really enjoy it!
    I love all the ingredients that went into this salad, however the combination was somehow wrong. The flavor was very overpowering and strong. Way too much sun-dried tomato and olive/caper flavor. We ended up throwing out the rest.
    I normally love all of Ina's recipes, but this one was too salty. My husband doesn't want me to try it again, but if I did next time I wouldn't add the salt. Normally I love all of her recipes, first that I didn't. My fav of hers that is similiar is Lemon Arugula Pasta, yumm!
    A bit too salty given the 2 teaspoons of salt in addition to all of those sundried tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives, and cheese. It had a briny flavor from the capers and the kalamata olives. We ate the pasta with bread to temper the strong flavor. But overall, it was delicious both at room temperature as the recipe calls for and warmed up a bit on the stove.
    This is the only recipe I've made of Ina's that I haven't totally loved (and I've made a lot of her recipes -- she is my number one favorite chef of all time!!!). Too strong and overwhelming. I won't be making this one again, but will definitely be making other recipes of hers again. Sorry Ina.
    I have been making this recipe for many years, and it always gets rave reviews. It is very bold and flavorful. I completely recommend it. Here's my own personal take on it:

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    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen