Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Mozzarella Pearls

Quick, simple and family-approved — this pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto and fresh mozzarella pearls is delicious hot or cold.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 12 oz pasta, such as fusilli, penne or farfalle
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (8 oz) tub fresh mozzarella pearls, drained (alternatively, use a fresh mozzarella ball and cut into chunks)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (Add enough salt so that the water tastes like the sea.) Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the sun-dried tomatoes with their oil, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, sugar, basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil. Pulse, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is finely puréed. Divide the mixture in half. Set aside.
  3. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water (you'll need it for the sauce), then drain the pasta. Add the pasta back to the pan. Add half of the pesto and stir to combine, adding the reserved pasta water little by little, until the pasta is well-coated and moistened. I usually use about 3/4 cup of pasta water. (Refrigerate or freeze the remaining pesto for another meal.) Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and red pepper flakes, if necessary. Right before serving, toss in 2 tablespoons chopped basil and the mozzarella pearls (it's important to do this right before serving so the cheese doesn't melt from the heat of the pan). Transfer to a serving dish or pasta bowls and serve with more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  4. Note: If you'd like to serve this pasta dish at room temperature, wait until the pasta is cool to add the mozzarella pearls.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 697
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 83 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Sodium: 533 mg
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg