Given the impressive flavor of this sun-dried tomato pasta, you’ll never guess that this easy vegetarian meal comes together in just 30 minutes. And you only need a handful of pantry staples, including dried pasta, fresh mint, sun-dried tomatoes, pecorino cheese, and pine nuts.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen | More Mediterranean | America’s Test Kitchen, 2021
The delicate, fork-entangling nature of angel hair pasta is a delightful change from spaghetti. Given its slender strands, it has its own set of cooking considerations—or overcooking considerations, as it cooks so quickly that there often isn’t time to taste-test it for doneness. Because package directions often result in overcooked pasta, we came up with our own correct cooking times specific to common brands.–America’s Test Kitchen
Tips to avoid overcooking your pasta
- Instead of tossing the pasta in a pan of bubbling sauce before serving, where it has another chance of overcooking, we toss the delicate pasta with a simple no-cook pesto-like sauce. To allow for the amount of pasta cooking water that’s needed (since angel hair pasta absorbs a lot of liquid), we make our sauce extra-potent: Sun-dried tomatoes, white wine vinegar, and tomato paste make it umami-rich and super-tomato-y, while a generous amount of refreshing mint and some garlic give it a complex, lively aroma.
- Do not follow the cooking time on the pasta box. Boil De Cecco angel hair for 1 1/2 minutes and Barilla and Prince for 3 minutes. Use straight pasta; angel hair curled into nests tends to tangle in the pot.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta FAQs
If you’re like us, when it comes time to cook pasta, we measure with our hearts and tend to boil enough for the entire neighborhood. Well, a serving size of angel hair is about two ounces of dried pasta. This meatless recipe calls for twelve ounces of dried pasta, so here the serving size is three ounces.
If you don’t have white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar is a good substitute. It will have a slightly bolder flavor, but it will still work perfectly well.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
For this easy meal, delicate angel hair pasta is tossed with an umami-rich sauce of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, mint, white wine vinegar, and tomato paste. The whole shebang is topped with crunchy toasted pine nuts.
In a food processor, blitz the sun-dried tomatoes, mint, oil, vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and sugar until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta in a colander. While the pasta drains, whisk 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water into the sauce.
Add the pasta to the sauce and toss gently with tongs, adjusting consistency with remaining reserved pasta cooking water as needed. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve with the grated Pecorino.
Serving: 1portionCalories: 572kcal (29%)Carbohydrates: 70g (23%)Protein: 13g (26%)Fat: 27g (42%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gSodium: 516mg (22%)Potassium: 541mg (15%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 553IU (11%)Vitamin C: 17mg (21%)Calcium: 45mg (5%)Iron: 3mg (17%)
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Originally published May 26, 2022
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