Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

We’re having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave…” Have you ever heard that old song? Anyway, Utah may be having a heatwave, but there is absolutely nothing tropical about it.

When it’s hot, I find it difficult to think about cooking or eating. I turn into a nibbler and my kitchen creativity vanishes. I thought about a number of different recipes, and even made a few of them, but then something familial would take place and lickity-go-split, recipes would fly right on out of my head. I found myself falling back on easy stuff most of the time like my favorite hamburgers and teriyaki burgers and meat loaf and  tin foil dinners and chili dogs and the ever popular take-out/delivery from my favorite Chinese place. But, hey, it’s summertime and like I said, it has been blazing hot and my appetite has been…off.

I go through the “off” appetite thing every summer. The only things that do sound good to me are ice cream and different types of salads. I’m always trolling for new salads, especially fruit or pasta salads. I can be perfectly happy with either one, feeling content with them as a full meal.

Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

On a recent trolling adventure, pictures of pasta salads kept calling to me. Therefore, my lovelies, I decided to make a new pasta salad. The dressing is loaded with flavor and is a great cross-over dressing (not to be confused with cross-dressing) for other types of pasta or vegetable salads. For instance, there was some freshly cooked corn on the cob lying next to the salad on my plate and some of the salad dressing got on the corn. I loved the flavor contrast between the tangy dressing and the sweet corn. Yadda, yadda, yadda, yes I have thought of a great salad to make with corn and this dressing.

Don’t leave any of the ingredients out of the dressing or the salad. Each ingredient brings something important to the overall flavor of the finished product. I’m just letting you know up front that you need to try the recipe as written, then adjust the ingredients. A little extra Parmesan is a good plan. Bet that came as a huge surprise to you, right? (she says in her best bloggerly sarcasm)

PS: To switch things up a bit, swap out the spaghetti noodles for potatoes!

Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


    For the Salad
  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped purple onion
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, packed
  • For the Salad Dressing
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rough chopped sun dried tomatoes (use the kind that have been packed in oil)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I used Spice Hunter Italian seasoning, a personal favorite)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


    For the Salad:
  1. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions just until the al dente stage. No soggy, squishy noodles allowed!
  2. Drain spaghetti noodles in a colander and rinse well under cool running water. Drain well.
  3. Place spaghetti noodles in a large serving bowl. Add the minced garlic, torn basil leaves, and Parmesan cheese. Toss together until ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.
  4. For the Salad Dressing:
  5. Place all of the dressing ingredients except the oil into a blender. Blitz until thoroughly combined and relatively smooth.
  6. With the blender on medium speed, add the extra virgin olive through the feed chute in a thin, steady stream. Blitz until creamy.
  7. Pour the salad dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
  8. This salad keeps well over night and can be made a day ahead.


Do not over-cook the spaghetti noodles. Al dente is perfect!

Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

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  1. says

    So glad to see you on the blogs. 🙂 I can imagine not wanting to cook when it’s so hot out where you live. This pasta salad looks like a nice cooling meal. I adore that teardrop plate!! Now I’m going to be searching for one. 🙂 LOL! Stay cool… enjoy yourself and have a great weekend!

  2. Dalila G. says

    What a nice and easy salad, especially in this heat.
    Our temps are still in the 99-103 range….SHEESH!!
    I have been cooking anything NOT on the stove or in the oven.
    Thanks for this recipe. 🙂

  3. Pam says

    This is the best salad ever. I like it because its rather transitional…Can serve cold, warm, whatever!! I love it!!

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