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Orecchiette with Broiled Feta, Peppers and Sausage

Yield 12

Ingredients

  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 3/4 pound feta, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 2 pounds sweet and hot sausages
  • 2 pounds dried orecchiette

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with 7 tablespoons of the olive oil, the mint and 2 tablespoons of the oregano; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Preheat the broiler. Roast the peppers under the broiler, turning, until charred. Transfer to a plastic bag and let steam for 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, discarding the cores, ribs and seeds; cut the peppers into 1/4 -inch strips.

  2. Brush the feta with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with pepper and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oregano and broil until golden on both sides.

  3. Broil the sausages, turning, until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil.

  4. Cook the pasta in a stockpot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the tomatoes; add the pepper strips. Slice the sausage, crumble the feta and toss both with the pasta; add some of the cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

  5. Wine Recommendation: An aromatic Pinot Gris