Heirloom tomatoes get their chance to shine in this pasta salad that is dressed with a creamy cheesy dressing (made healthy with a secret ingredient twist).
One thing I will not abide by in this apartment is sauce from a jar.
The.Boy practically lived off the stuff before he knew me and so whenever he can tell I’m a bit short on time/frazzled/borderline psychotic he suggests that maybe he should just run to the grocery store and grab a jar of Prego or Ragu or whatever synthetic tomato product happens to be on sale that week.
And then I attempt to kill him with my eyes. Death stares like you wouldn’t believe.
You see, I like the tomato in my marinara sauce to come from a vine and not “natural flavor” (which we all know is code for “artificial flavor”) and sugar. And I’d prefer that any alfredo sauce I ingest not be shelf stable. Because that just seems wrong.
So for this month’s Recipe Redux (a blogging event centered around healthy eating and living) theme, which is “Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar”, I thought I would remake jarred pasta sauce. Of the alfredo variety.
And while I would like to say I pulled it off without even a single secret (sorta weirdo) ingredient…that’s just not the case.
There is something quite controversial lurking inside this thick and cheesy sauce that tastes like pure decadence…
…but it’s not cream. I pinky swear it.
Now. Before you get all up in arms and go wildly insane on me, I will have you know that I served this pasta to my entire family – mother, sister, sister’s boyfriend, brother, and the.boy – without telling them what was in it and not a single one of them guessed that there was anything amiss. In fact, they still don’t know so I’m sure I’ll get a few outraged emails/text messages/voicemails in the next hour or so claiming that I’ve ruined their lives/intestines but such is life.
We both know they ate it and they liked it. So there.
In addition to the “cream”, this pasta salad is also stuffed with big fresh heirloom tomato flavor (like…3 pounds of it), basil and olives. And in my opinion, you just can’t go wrong with all that. Like, ever.
So while I can promise with a cherry on top that you will never ever find a jar of fake tomatoes in my fridge, I will be keeping a jar of this cheesy deliciousness on hand. To pour over everything in my life. But mostly pasta.
Three years ago...Zucchini, Tomato and Corn Recipe Roundup
Four years ago...Tunisian Chicken with Raisins and Lemon
- 1 lb pasta (I used radiatore)
- 3 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 oz crumbled ricotta salata
- 8 oz reduced fat silken tofu
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 can black olives, drained
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta and toss with the tomatoes in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, ricotta salata, and tofu. Pulse until pureed.
- Toss pasta and tomatoes with the ricotta salata sauce, basil, and black olives.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
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