Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

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In the realm of quick, flavorful meals, a sun-dried tomato pasta with a creamy parmesan sauce stands as a culinary gem. Its versatility, whether as a vegetarian main course or a delightful side dish, pairs effortlessly with an array of proteins, from roasted chicken to grilled pork or braised short ribs.

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Begin by bringing a generously salted pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta until it reaches that perfect al dente texture, remembering to reserve a cup of the pasta water for sauce thinning if necessary. Once cooked, drain the pasta thoroughly.

In a spacious skillet over medium heat, infuse the dish with flavor by sautéing sun-dried tomatoes in a touch of olive oil or the oil from the tomatoes themselves. Add minced garlic and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, letting the aroma develop for about a minute.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Sauce Consistency: Retain a cup of pasta water to both thin the sauce and enhance its adherence to the pasta. This water, stored in the fridge, proves invaluable for reviving leftovers.
  • Oil from Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Utilize this oil for an added depth of color and flavor to the dish.
  • Pasta Variety: While rigatoni or penne work splendidly, don’t shy away from experimenting with mostaccioli or ziti.
  • Wine Selection: Opt for a good quality dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio for an enhanced flavor profile.
  • Storage and Reheating: Safely store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, add a touch of refrigerated pasta water to gently thin the sauce.
  • Freezing Precaution: While freezing this pasta is possible for up to two months, be aware that upon thawing and reheating, the sauce might lose some visual appeal. To combat this, reheat gently over low heat, stirring continuously, and introduce a splash of fresh cream or milk.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or a small amount of oil from the sundried tomatoes)
  • 1 cup julienne-cut sundried tomatoes packed in oil (drained)
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (or a combination of both)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ⅓ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups baby spinach (approximately 3 ounces)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Pasta Perfection:

  • Begin by bringing a generous pot of salted water to a lively boil. Add the rigatoni or penne pasta, and cook until it achieves al dente perfection, following the package instructions. Remember to preserve 1 cup of this pasta water, which can work its magic if the sauce needs a touch of thinning. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

2. Sizzling Sun-Dried Tomatoes:

  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, introduce 2 tablespoons of olive oil or the oil captured from the sundried tomatoes. Drop in the drained julienne-cut sundried tomatoes and sauté for approximately 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and Italian seasoning, letting them sizzle for a delightful 30-60 seconds while stirring continuously.

3. Wine and Cream Dance:

  • Pour in the dry white wine and let it simmer for several minutes, gracefully reducing the wine by half. Then, whisk in the luscious heavy whipping cream and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes to create a rich and velvety sauce.

4. Cheese Elegance:

  • Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and slowly introduce the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, stirring until it melts into a sumptuous, creamy masterpiece.

5. Spinach Serenity:

  • Add the fresh baby spinach to the skillet and allow it to delicately wilt, infusing the dish with vibrant green goodness.

6. The Grand Pasta Reunion:

  • It’s time for the grand finale! Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet, gently stirring to coat every delightful piece with the rich, creamy sauce. As the finishing touch, season your creation with red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, adjusting to your personal taste preferences.

Cooking Notes:

  • Remember, when crafting pasta with sauce, always keep a watchful eye on that essential 1 cup of reserved pasta water. It not only helps in achieving the perfect sauce consistency but also ensures the sauce clings affectionately to the pasta. For future use, store this pasta water in the fridge, sealing its freshness within an airtight container for 2-3 days.
  • Embrace a touch of the oil from the sundried tomatoes; it contributes delightful flavor and a dash of inviting color to the dish.
  • While rigatoni and penne work wonderfully for this recipe, feel free to explore alternatives like mostaccioli or ziti.
  • When selecting the ideal dry white wine, seek out quality options like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, ensuring it’s one you’d enjoy sipping on its own.

This sun-dried tomato pasta recipe, complemented by a luscious parmesan cheese sauce, not only offers a delightful vegetarian main but also serves as a versatile side dish for an array of succulent meat accompaniments. With simple yet crucial tips for sauce consistency, storage, and pairing suggestions, this recipe brings a burst of flavor and convenience to your dining table.

image source : small town woman