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Rach's Sundried Tomato + Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Fusilli & 4-Lettuce Salad

Rach's Sundried Tomato + Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Fusilli & 4-Lettuce Salad


For the pasta:

  • 1 cup packed sundried tomatoes or sundried cherry tomatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen or ground fennel

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepperoncini or red pepper flakes

  • About 2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest

  • About ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more as needed

  • 3 large roasted red peppers

  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1 cup basil leaves, a small bunch (plus more torn leaves, for garnish)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound fusilli lunghi or fusilli pasta

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Parm and Pecorino Romano combined, plus more for passing at table

For the 4-Lettuce Salad:

  • 1 radicchio, quartered and thinly sliced

  • 1 endive, thinly sliced

  • 2 big handfuls argula

  • 2 heads gem Romaine or 1 heart Romaine, chopped

  • 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (or ½ large bulb fennel, thinly sliced)

  • 2-3 ribs celery with leafy tops, thinly sliced on bias

  • 1 small white or red onion, very thinly sliced

  • ½ cup shaved Parm cheese

For the Grainy Mustard-Balsamic Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon Acacia honey

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried

  • About ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)


For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta.

Cover sundried tomatoes with boiling or very hot water, soak to soften 15 minutes, then drain very well, toss with sliced garlic, spices, zest and olive oil. Place in food processor with roasted peppers, nuts, basil, and salt and pepper, then pulse process the ingredients into a thick sauce.

Salt pasta water and cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water just before draining. Drain pasta and return to pot with the water, cheese, and sauce, then toss to combine, adjust seasoning and add more EVOO if sauce is dry or too tight. Serve in bowls with more torn basil and pass more cheese at table.

For the salad, combine greens, fennel, celery, onions, and shaved cheese.

Combine dressing in a jar or plastic container and shake, then toss to coat with salad and serve.