Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups pasta mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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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Ratings & Reviews

5 star pasta salad!

April 17, 2015
This recipe rated 5 stars by my family.  I have a very picky 12-yr-old, and she had a very large second helping of this.  The dressing was perfect for the salad.  I used spinach rather than arugula because it is what I had on hand.  It was very good, but next time I would like to try to more peppery arugula to see how it tastes with the wonderful dressing.  Enjoy!

lynnskeecat's Review

July 15, 2013

TCMorgan's Review

June 30, 2013
I couldn't find the pasta so I substituted cheese tortellini. It was fantastic!

ChefAmandaLynn's Review

June 23, 2012
My husband didn't seem to mind there was no meat, and we all really enjoyed this. I used chopped heirloom tomatos in place of grape tomatos. The vinaigrette was great even substituting italian seasoning for herbs de provence.

Dpearson's Review

May 21, 2012

Mleigh's Review

April 18, 2011
This was a really flavorful dish. I liked the addition of the herbes de provence and the vibrant flavor of the roasted peppers. I used a red pepper because that is what I had on hand. I also allowed the arugula to wilt a little bit. Forgot to halve the cherry tomatoes but it didn't seem to make too much of a difference.

Brie30's Review

August 11, 2010
Delicious. Great dish for the summer. I made this last night when I didn't have anything defrosted for dinner. I made this exactly as directed except I added some kalamata olives (sliced in 1/2). My husband raved! Nice and colorful presentation. Very tasty!!

skspillman's Review

August 01, 2010
This was delicious! I couldn't find orecchiette, so I used gnocchi. I added two lbs. of seared smoked turkey sausage to the mixture and substituted spinach for arugula. I will definitely make this again.

NCKristen's Review

June 17, 2010
Loved this recipe! The vinaigrette was so tasty and a nice change from the usual pasta sauces. Only changes I made were adding some turkey sausage and a handful of fresh basil I needed to use up. Next time, I will probably make a tad more vinaigrette, but that's the only thing I'll change.

mjmacrae's Review

June 08, 2010
This was delicious! I'll definitely make it again. I substituted whole wheat orecchiette for the extra fiber and my family didn't notice. I chopped up whole roasted peppers from a jar to make the prep easier. I didn't have arugula on hand so I used about half a bag of a pre-washed baby lettuce blend, which included arugula, spinach, and others. I used grape tomatoes instead of cherry. I lightly sauteed all of the garlic so it wouldn't have too much bite. I didn't have herbs de provence on hand, so I threw in a handful of fresh basil instead. And lastly I crumbled some bacon on top to make it more appealing to the menfolk. The only thing I might change next time is to reduce the sugar slightly. It was delicious, came together really quickly, and I am already looking forward to making it again.