Double-Tomato Pasta Salad
For full-spectrum tomato flavor, this pasta salad pairs fresh tomatoes with sun-dried tomatoes. The sun-dried tomato oil and the water that’s released from salted tomatoes serve as a built-in dressing. Nuts and herbs add crunch and freshness, but you should feel free to add more embellishments right before serving, like mozzarella or shaved Parmesan, white beans or chickpeas, sardines or another tinned fish, or briny condiments like capers or olives.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1(7- to 8-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1 ½cups raw pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2garlic cloves, finely grated
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1pound long or twirly noodles, like linguine or fusilli
- 2pounds ripe tomatoes
- Lemon juice or red wine vinegar, to taste
- 2cups torn basil, mint, dill or arugula leaves, or a combination
Step 1Holding back the sun-dried tomatoes with your fingers, drain the oil from the jar into a large pot. Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the pot, along with the nuts and olive oil. Set over medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the nuts are toasted, 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl (reserve the pot), then stir in the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Step 2Fill the reserved pot with water (no need to wash) and bring to a boil. Season water with salt, add the pasta and cook until just past al dente. (The pasta will not cook further in the sauce.) Drain the pasta.
Step 3While the water is coming to a boil, coarsely chop the ripe tomatoes. Add to the sun-dried tomato mixture, season with 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. (Tomato mixture can be made up to 2 hours ahead.)
Step 4Add the drained pasta to the tomato mixture and stir to combine. Let sit until room temperature, about 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Pasta salad will keep up to 3 days if refrigerated.
Step 5When ready to eat, taste the pasta salad. If flavors are muted, add salt and lemon juice or red wine vinegar. If it’s too sweet, add black pepper and lemon juice or red wine vinegar. Stir in the greens and eat.