Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

I love sun dried tomatoes. Brian, however, does not. I don’t want to say that this causes problems in our house… but I also don’t want to lie to you.

Ok, so it’s not that serious. All the same, I’d really like to get Wyatt eating sun dried tomatoes now while I can still blackmail him into trying new things with the promise of ice cream. Well, this dish proved to be a “no blackmail needed” dinner for both of the boys! I feel strongly that if an adult “non-sun dried tomato eater” and a three year old will gobble this up, then anyone will!

It’s a great weeknight dinner option, because the bulk of the flavor comes from two kinds of jarred sauces. Fresh tomatoes, extra sun dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and cheese makes it feel and taste more homemade and scrumptious.

To sum up, the whole supper came together in just over twenty minutes, and we all loved it!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1/3 cup alfredo sauce
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 pound dried pasta (like mini farfalle)
  • 1/4 cup pasta water

Directions

Step 1
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Next slice an "X" into the bottom of your fresh tomatoes.
Step 2
This will make it easy to peel them once they've gone for their dip.

Once you've got a rolling boil, lower the tomatoes into the water.
Step 3
These only need a few seconds in the water, so don't walk away!

My general rule of thumb for tomatoes is 30 seconds, then pull 'em.
Step 4
Lay them on a towel, and let them cool for a few minutes.

Once they're cool enough for you to handle (for me it's about 3 minutes--for Brian it's about 20 seconds... but he's a total cowboy) grab hold of one of the "X" segments and pull the skin right off.
Step 5
It really is like magic how easily tomato skins come off after just seconds in hot water.

This may seem like a lot of steps, but it really doesn't take long at all. Plus you're gonna have to boil the water for the pasta anyway, so why not use it twice? Also I am really not a fan of tomato skins in my pasta dishes.
Step 6
I apologize for the white balance issue. I'm still learning my camera, and apparently red tomatoes on a red cutting board in a kitchen with one small window is too much for me.

Anyway, photo issues aside, chop up the tomatoes to roughly the same size chunks. Make sure to keep all the seeds and juice. Everything will get added into the dish.
Step 7
Dump some kosher salt (maybe 2Tbs or so) into your already boiling water,
Step 8
and add your pasta.

I didn't have an unopened box of fun-shaped pasta in the house. I did however have two half boxes of mini farfalle.
Step 9
If that's not making figurative lemonade then I don't know what is!

Cook according to the package directions or to your liking (we tend to overcook in our house), and don't forget to hold back the 1/4 cup of pasta water before you drain everything!

Heat the 2Tbs. of olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Once it's nice and hot, dump in the minced garlic.
Step 10
Saute the garlic about 30 seconds. You don't want it to cook too long or it'll begin to brown and/or burn.

To keep that from happening, dump in all of your chopped tomatoes with their juices, plus 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt.
Step 11
Stir everything together, and simmer around 7-8 minutes. Stir occasionally, and adjust heat up or down as you go to keep the sauce simmering not boiling.
Step 12
For the sun dried tomatoes, I pulled out six nice-sized pieces from a olive oiled jar.
Step 13
P.S. Look who found the incandescent mode on her camera!

Anyway, once I chopped them up, it was almost exactly 2 heaping Tbs.
Step 14
Once your tomato sauce has simmered 7-8 minutes add in the sun dried tomatoes.
Step 15
Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 16
While things are simmering grate the cheese and mince the basil.
Step 17
Here are my secret ingredients for extra flavor.
Step 18
Ok, so it's a combo of jarred sauces. But it's a nice mix of flavors, with the creamy sauce and the pesto mixed, plus it's super easy for a weeknight dinner.

Add in 1/3 cup of the sun dried tomato pesto,
Step 19
and 1/3 cup of the alfredo sauce.
Step 20
Now the basil and parmesan jumps into the party.
Step 21
In case you ever wondered, this is was a pound of pasta that's been waiting in a strainer looks like.
Step 22
In goes the sun dried tomato sauce,
Step 23
and the reserved pasta water.
Step 24
Now just give everything a toss,
Step 25
and enjoy!
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