Succulent Pasta. Doesn't it just sound delicious? I love this recipe because it is relatively flexible, simple, and fun. Just be sure you've got a glass of milk handy to cool the burn...
4 T. Basil, dried (you can try different herbs here, if you want, but the basil is actually not overwhelming, despite the quantity)
1 T. pine nuts, minced (I forgot to buy more, so this time I made it sans pine nuts)
1 T. olive oil
3 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
1/8 c. olive oil (that's 2 T. if you don't want to dirty another measure) :)
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
OR (for those of you who dislike mushrooms, like me)
8 oz. (1 large) zucchini, sliced (mushrooms aren't easily substituted, but I think this works well)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cayenne pepper (VERY spicy! I reduced this to 1/2 t. and it was still spicy, but manageable)
1 16 oz. package bow tie (or your preference) pasta
Combine basil, pine nuts, and 1 T. olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Blanch sun-dried tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water. (To Blanch "means to plunge foods into boiling water for a few seconds or a few minutes, then remove and place in ice water. This process sets the color of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip the skins off nuts. The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved." Thanks About.com! This recipe does not say to place in ice water, and I never have, and it still works. I wouldn't worry about that extra step.) Drain tomatoes well and slice into small pieces.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add garlic and 1/8 cup olive oil. Sauté for one minute. Stir in mushrooms or zucchini and sauté until tender. Add the basil mixture, salt, cayenne and sun-dried tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and let the mixture simmer.
While your sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions. When your pasta is done, toss with the sauce till it is evenly coated. TOSSING IS IMPORTANT. I didn't toss the first time, and instead simply put sauce on top of the pasta. I'm surprised my mouth isn't still burning from that!
This is a spicy recipe (if you hadn't gathered that already!) but it is so delicious! Try this soon, and you won't be disappointed!