This is a copycat recipe. And it’s all in the name of saving money! There’s this fancy grocery store/market around the corner from me and they sell the inspiration for this sun dried tomato pasta salad. We had it from their salad bar before and it’s delicious. But the catch? I think they want my firstborn child to pay for it! It’s so incredibly expensive! For a large container, it’s like almost $20! It’s really tasty, but not $20 tasty! So I wrote down all the ingredients that were in it, (lo & behold, I had a lot of them in my fridge/pantry already) and gave it a whirl. Bingo! It’s pretty close. And it didn’t cost me $20 to make a cup of pasta salad. And it’s now my husband’s favorite pasta salad. Can’t beat that!
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad (this will serve a crowd)
- 1 lb. penne rigate pasta
- 1, 8 ounce jar sun dried tomato pesto (Classico is my fav)
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 c. kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 c. crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 c. pepperoncinis, chopped
- 1/2 c. cubed/chunked mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. mayo (optional)*
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool. When pasta is cool, add to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir together and drizzle with a little more olive oil if pasta has become dry.
*Of course I had to add mayo into this. It adds a tad bit of creaminess but if you prefer, leave it out. I’ve done it both ways and they’re both delicious in my opinion.