I only have 5 more days of school and then it is SUMMER BREAK! Woohoo! This has been a long school year, one that has been hard on staff, students, and parents. I am more than ready for summer break!
I have a lot of plans for the summer as far as reading, cooking, gardening, walking, swimming, and cleaning go. They are ambitious. We'll see how far I get.
For now, I'm enjoying this delicious Quick Pantry Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta. To me, there is nothing better than a quick pasta dish for a lovely weeknight supper!
Now, cheese is an integral part of my diet and I have three favorite cheeses: Burrata, Feta, and Gruyere (in no specific order). I will literally just look for reasons to eat ANY of the above cheeses. In fact, on any given day, my entire fridge could be empty EXCEPT for the CHEESE DRAWER. The cheese drawer is always toppling over with any and all varieties of cheese.
I can do without meat. I CANNOT do without cheese.
Now that we've established that, let's talk about this pasta dish. Tieghan over at Half Baked Harvest originally wrote this recipe served with creamy burrata cheese torn all over the top of the pasta. That sounds amazingly delicious, but I found myself craving feta so I went with that. I don't think you could go wrong with either cheese, it just depends on your vibe.
If you're feeling in an Italian mood, go for burrata.
If you're feeling in a Greek mood, go for feta.
I love how this pasta dish comes together with a few pantry ingredients, sun-dried tomatoes being the star of the dish. I would definitely make this again!
Quick Pantry Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
by Tieghan Gerard
1 pound short cut pasta
1 jar (8 ounces) oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped, oil reserved
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 ounces feta cheese* (Tieghan uses burrata cheese, torn)
fresh dill, roughly chopped, for serving*
*Note: I think this would be amazing with burrata, but it is also amazing with feta! I'm not sure why she calls for dill as a garnish, so I omitted that. If you like it, go for it!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
Meanwhile, drain the sun-dried tomato oil out into a large skillet. Reserve the tomatoes.
Set the skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup basil, and lemon zest. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste, cook another minute. Stir in 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and pasta, tossing to coat. Stir in the parmesan and a pinch of pepper. Cook until warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Add the parsley and remaining 1/4 cup basil, toss until the herbs are wilted and the sauce coats the pasta, about 2-3 minutes, adding in more pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the pasta to serving bowls and top each with feta (or burrata). Drizzle with olive oil, herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!