Easy Pasta Dish for July 4th Weekend

My kids and grandkids are coming for the holiday weekend, which means FOOD. Lots of it. For 6 adults and 4 kids plus whoever else comes by, which could be my brother Jeff and sister-in-law Eileen who live nearby.

It’s nice to have stuff in the fridge that I can just pull out for a nibble in case someone is hungry.

Someone is always hungry and nibbling at some time during the day.

I actually love that everyone goes to the fridge and “takes inventory,” as my mother used to say about me when I was the one visiting and she was the one whose house we went to.

I am thinking about making this pasta dish. You can make it in advance. It’s good hot, warm or at room temperature. It has a lot of flavor. You can add stuff to the recipe: peas, scallions, cooked chicken, bits of cheese and so on. You can replace the sun dried tomatoes with chopped fresh plum tomato. 

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Pignoli Nuts

1 pound bowtie pasta

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup pignoli nuts

10 ounces mushrooms, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2/3 cup cut up oil-packed sun dried tomatoes

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta but save some of the cooking water. While the pasta is cooking, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the pignoli nuts and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until the nuts are lightly toasted. Dish out and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes, to soften them. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and basil and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the pasta and cook, tossing the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Add some of the cooking water if necessary to give the pasta more moisture if desired. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings