Something's cooking in Apartment 205.

Light Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

In by Amy, Cooking for N00bs, The Everyday Foodie on January 16 at 6:57 pm

Cooking time: 20 minutes | Originally enjoyed on: 1/16/2010

A new year means it’s time to get off my lazy butt and post at least 1 of the 8 topics I have to write about. My dear brother gave me a couple of Alton Brown Good Eats DVDs for Christmas, and one particularly helpful set is on cooking from things already in your pantry. This recipe is from an episode on cooking pasta, as is a great one for beginner chefs.

Spaghetti tossed in extra virgin olive oil with sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, olives, and smoked oysters.

Watching this episode made me remember that while I love sun-dried tomatoes, I had yet to cook with them. I resolved to remedy this once I returned to Berkeley.

This pasta is pretty much as easy as you can get, short of mixing pasta with pre-made sauce. After you cook the pasta, drain it and put aside. Pour some olive oil into a bowl or plate (only a couple of tablespoons); place about a teaspoon of garlic in the center. Mix thoroughly into pasta (tongs, chopsticks, or a fork and spoon may be helpful here)–since the pasta is still very hot, it’ll cook the garlic without burning it. Lastly, add whatever other ingredients you’d like: in the original episode, Alton used cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and nuts. We didn’t have any nuts, but we did toss in cheese (leftover packets from the Costco 3-cheese ravioli), sliced sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and smoked oysters.

Some suggestions to get you started on ingredients: parsley, pine nuts, chopped basil, sautéed mushrooms, grilled chicken.

And there you go, tasty pasta that took little to no skill to make.

P.S. According to Alton Brown, don’t rinse your pasta after draining; your sauce will stick to your pasta better.

  1. Does Alton Brown say how one should cool pasta, then?

  2. but isn’t tossing the pasta with oil essentially the same as rinsing it with water? it’ll cool the outside of the pasta and coat it, sealing up all the doughiness and keeping sauce off of it.

    • According to Alton Brown, rinsing the pasta with water will rid it of extra starch that will bind the sauce to the noodles. Tossing the pasta in oil is more for flavor because we have no sauce to begin with and it helps to serve as a medium for the garlic, tomatoes, and oysters to infuse into the pasta while it is hot and receptive.

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