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Triple-Pepper Pasta Salad

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins
Yield

Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

This dish is an exposition of sweet peppers. Here they're charred and pureed for a sauce, roasted and stirred into the pasta, and quick-cured for a pretty topper. Mild Aleppo pepper and spicy ground red pepper actually make this a five-pepper pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
  • 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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 415
  • fat 13.6 g
  • satfat 4.3 g
  • monofat 6.9 g
  • polyfat 1 g
  • protein 12 g
  • carbohydrate 57 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 20 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 538 mg
  • calcium 194 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. 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.

  3. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, sugar, and Fresno chiles in a bowl. Let stand 20 minutes.

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

  5. Preheat broiler to high.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.