Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

pasta salad 3This 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.

pasta salad 2pasta saladpasta salad 4Serve this at your next BBQ. Steaks, chicken, burgers, hot dogs….. it goes with just about anything.

 

Sun Dried Tomato Ranch Dressing

sd tomato ranch saladI am a condiment girl. I love dips, sauces, and dressings. I am also a resourceful girl. Put these two together and you get sun dried tomato ranch dressing.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I like to use what I have on hand! If I have leftovers or I bought an item for just one recipe, I absolutely need to find a way to incorporate it into another dish. I don’t like to waste or throw things away. So one night for dinner, I decided I wanted to make a “gyro-ish” type meal, but not Greek tasting. So I had the naan (Indian yes, Greek no), some citrus marinated chicken breast, diced cucumbers and tomatoes and I positively needed a sauce to drizzle over the top. I had a jar of sun dried tomatoes with herbs in oil in my fridge that were just begging me to use them. Tah-dah! I came up with this dressing. My hubs and I loved it! He said, “This dressing is blog worthy.” Yeah, he’s a keeper 🙂

This dressing is delicious on salad. Yummy on “gyro-ish” type foods 🙂 And would even be great with some carrot sticks for dipping.

sun dried tomato ranchSun Dried Tomato Ranch Dressing

  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 3/4 c. mayo
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green onion
  • 4 sun dried tomato halves
  • 2 glugs worcestshire sauce
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • dash of cracked black pepper

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

sd tomato ranch dressingsd tomato ranch