Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield
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!

ThereseK
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

Laura1681
July 15, 2013
N/A

TCMorgan's Review

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

ChefAmandaLynn's Review

Brie30
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

TCMorgan
May 21, 2012
N/A

Mleigh's Review

lynnskeecat
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

lhansen
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

skspillman
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

AlyandDrew
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

Mleigh
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.