Sun-dried tomatoes are just regular tomatoes that have been dried under the sun to remove the water. So what you get is pure tomato flavor.
In the grocery, this Italian cooking ingredient is sold dried or soaked in olive oil usually with added herbs and spices. If you get the kind soaked in oil, you may use the flavor-packed oil in lieu of plain olive oil to make this pasta dish.
A tip: While it is always the best practice to add salt to the water in which the pasta will cook, in the case of pasta aglio e olio, you need to add more salt than usual. The pasta will just be tossed in the garlicky oil after it cooks. It will not simmer in sauce where it will finish cooking. So, flavor it generously.
So, “salted water” in the cooking instructions doesn’t mean water with a pinch of salt added to it. I mean, really salted water — like one tablespoon salt for every liter and a half of water.
Fettuccine aglio e olio with sun-dried tomatoes
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water.
- Meanwhile, while the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a pan.
- Over medium heat, cook the garlic until lightly browned.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds.
- Off the heat, taste and add more salt, if needed.
- Divide the pasta among four shallow bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.