Celebrate the late summer harvest of red peppers with this simple and light pasta salad. You can easily substitute roasted peppers from a jar. This recipe is from an obscure little cookbook with fabulous recipes called “Canada Cooks Pasta”. I have a propensity for lemon and increase the amount of zest and juice. As a matter of fact, I increase the feta and basil as well! This is a great brunch, pot luck or buffet salad! Note: Whether you use fresh peppers or jarred, ensure you dry them thoroughly...you really don't want a pink salad!
- 6 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded or 6 roasted red peppers, deseeded
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaf, cut into 1/8 strips, about 1/2 cup
- 1⁄2 lb feta cheese, dried and crumbled
- 1 lb penne (or other short tube pasta)
- Slice peppers into ¼” wide strips, lengthwise. Place strips in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, salt and pepper.
- Toss dressing with the red pepper strips.
- Stack the basil leaves on top of one another and roll up. Slice the leaves crosswise into thin ribbons. This is called a “chiffonade” in case you want to impress your friends.
- Toss the basil leaves with the peppers. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
- Cook the pasta al dente in large pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoons each salt and olive oil. Drain, rinse briefly and cool to room temperature.
- Combine pasta with marinated peppers and dressing.
- Add crumbled feta cheese. Taste and adjust salt, add liberal grindings of black pepper.
- Cool salad in fridge 1-2 hours before serving or salad may be chilled overnight and brought to room temperature 1 - 2 hours before serving.
- Garnish with basil chiffonade.
I was looking for a pasta recipe to suit my ingredients, when I came across this one. Bought the couple of extra things I needed and it wasn't until I was about to start cooking that I realised the recipe is for pasta salad, not hot pasta. I went ahead and made it anyway, and we all enjoyed it.<br/><br/>Changes I made were to use about 3/4 of a small jar of roasted red peppers (all I had, and probably ten peppers worth but they were small), some oil from the jar (which contained herbs and garlic), a little olive oil and a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes. I heated the sauce ingredients tossing the basil in towards the end and I added the feta (a 200 gram packet) to the drained pasta. I also added extra oil at this point as there was no real sauce as such, and I realised later I'd initially only used about a quarter of a cup, not a half. Served it with grated parmesan.<br/><br/>Will make it again as a hot dish, adding some onion, garlic and maybe olives. I will also add a bit more of everything as doing the conversion the recipe calls for 225 grams of fetta and I used less. The flavours were really good as is though and I'm sure it would make a lovely pasta salad, too. Thanks Highland Lass!
Great alternative to traditional macaroni salad
This is so good, lots of flavor. I did add a small can of sliced black olives. Big hit in our house. THANKS......