I always try to keep a few packages of sun-dried tomatoes in the pantry because they pack so much flavor and can be added to all kinds of dishes to punch things up. (They create a whole new dimension of flavor when added to Basil Pesto pasta.) You can also dry tomatoes from your garden and keep them in the freezer to enjoy through the winter – but that’s an article for another day! I really like this sauce because it tastes hearty and satisfying without any meat. It is a great recipe for our current situation of  “shelter-in-place” because the ingredients can be kept on hand for several weeks and it comes together quickly and easily.

Ingredients for Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

  • 3 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut if you can find them, but not neccesary
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. dried basil or 6 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/2 C. hearty red wine
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
  • 2 T. molasses
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 oz. spaghetti or other
    dried pasta


Soak the tomatoes in about 1 C. hot water for about 10 minutes.

While the tomatoes are soaking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for aboutt 3 – 4 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two.

Remove the tomatoes from the water, reserving the tomato water for later use. Cut the tomatoes into strips with kitchen shears. (I try to get sun-dried tomatoes that are already julienne cut, then you can skip this step.)

Add cayenne to 1/4 cup of the red wine, stir to evenly distribute, then add to the pan with the onion and garlic, along with the tomatoes and basil. Stir, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, boil water and cook the dried pasta according to package instructions. When tomato mixture has simmered, add the rest if the wine, 1/4 cup of the tomato water and 2 T. of molasses. Simmer for about 10 minutes more, until sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce over pasta immediately.

(Makes 4 servings)