Pasta dishes are perfect for Christin Holcomb and her husband, who try to avoid eating leftovers: She cooks only as much as she needs and can vary the ingredients and amount depending on the number of guests. Holcomb created this recipe after looking for a new and healthful way to present her favorite pasta, orecchiette. Instead of a heavy, creamy sauce, the flavors are kept light and bright with fresh summer produce and a tangy vinaigrette. She opted for colorful bell peppers, but choose your favorite in-season vegetables.
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta (
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups loosely packed arugula
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into 1-inch strips.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add bell peppers and tomatoes to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon garlic, vinegar, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add pasta and oil mixture to bell pepper mixture in pan; toss well to coat. Cool slightly. Stir in arugula. Top each serving with cheese.
Wine note: Fresh summer vegetables come together in Orecchiette with Roasted Peppers, Arugula, and Tomatoes, making it a good candidate for a dry rosé wine. With berry and Bing cherry flavors and bright acidity, Bonterra Rosé 2008 ($14), from California, is a great example of how rosé complements the acid and fruitiness of tomatoes. This wine also has a slightly herbal edge, reminiscent of the dish's herbes de Provence. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
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