Pepper Pasta Salad

I saw this in this month’s Cooking Light, and was really intrigued.  I love pasta salad, and this one was different and interesting.  I brought it to the Hunt’s puppy naming party, and it went over pretty well!  I thought it was tasty, but that being said, it WAS a lot of work.  I did use sweet paprika in place of the Aleppo pepper.  Also, the original recipe called for Freso peppers, and I didn’t use them, so though the original recipe was, “Triple-Pepper Pasta Salad,” this was just two peppers for me. 😉  I would make it again for a special occasion, or big picnic etc, despite the work – I think it was worth it. 🙂

pepperpastasalad

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 ounces uncooked whole-grain rotini
  • 12 ounces red bell peppers (about 2 large)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 pound multicolored mini baby bell peppers
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup small oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or sweet paprika

 

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and onion in an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish; cover tightly with foil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Cool.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.

Preheat broiler to high.

Place large bell peppers on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray. Broil 15 minutes or until charred, turning occasionally. Place peppers in a bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cool. Peel and seed large bell peppers over a bowl, reserving juices. Place peeled peppers and their juices in a blender with 1/2 teaspoon salt, oil, sherry vinegar, ground red pepper, and garlic; blend until smooth.

Add baby bell peppers to baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray. Broil 10 minutes or until lightly charred, stirring once after 5 minutes. Place baby bell peppers in a bowl; tightly cover with plastic wrap. Cool. Remove stems and seeds; coarsely chop peppers. Place onion mixture, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, pureed pepper mixture, pasta, baby bell peppers, and half of mozzarella in a large bowl; toss to combine. Top with Fresno chile mixture, remaining mozzarella, oregano, and Aleppo pepper.

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