Monday, July 5, 2010

Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad

I made this recipe for our 4th of July BBQ on Saturday. I love trying out new recipes. The family seemed to love it! I did do a few things different than the recipe said to, see comments with the *'s by them. Otherwise I followed it pretty closely. This is a recipe from my food network magazine, and the picture too, I forgot to take a picture of mine before we ate it. Looked similar but I couldn't find the mozzarella balls

Kosher salt
12 ounces rigatoni or other short tube-shaped pasta
2 bell peppers (red and/or yellow), halved, stemmed and seeded
   **I used a jar of roasted red peppers instead of roasting my own
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
   **I roasted a whole garlic bulb in the oven--see my recipe for garlic mashed potatoes on how to do that.
1/4 cup almonds ( **I bought the slivered almonds and toasted those, then chopped)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon
8 ounces bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
    **I couldn't find these, so I just cut up mozzeralla cheese into small cubes
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves torn (I chopped)
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Shake off the excess water.
Meanwhile, place the bell peppers cut-side down on a foil-lined broiler pan, add the garlic and broil until charred, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover and set aside about 5 minutes.
Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, shaking the pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Squeeze the garlic from its skin onto a cutting board. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt; mince and mash the garlic into a paste with a large knife. Peel the roasted peppers and slice into strips; transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic paste and drizzle with the olive oil. Finely grate about 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the bowl and squeeze in all of the lemon juice. Add the bocconcini, basil, almonds, pasta, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; toss.
**I whisked the garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and juice together in a small bowl and then added to the roasted red pepper. Then I tossed it with the pasta, nuts, and chopped basil.
I found I wanted just a bit more flavor, so I added a couple Tablespoons of my homemade basil-pesto. And then I sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese and tossed.
It turned out Yummo!!!

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