PASTA SALAD WITH MARINATED ROASTED BELL PEPPERS
Serves : 10 Preparation time : 1 hour
- 3 Large green, red and yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled
- 1 Large tomato
- 1 medium sweet onion, or Maui Onion
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 lb pasta – tortellini, penne or farfalle (bow ties)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce or more to taste
- 7 0z crumbled Feta cheese
- 3/4 cup Greek olives, pitted or not
- fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh grated Parmesan cheese
To roast the peppers : Put directly over flame or broil whole peppers. I usually use the outdoor grill. Char and turn until the peppers are blackened evenly. Remove to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let steam until cool enough to handle. Slip the charred skin off the peppers, open and remove seeds and then rinse gently. The less water you use in this process, the more flavor the peppers will have.
In a bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Trim off the rough edges of the peppers and cut into narrow strips. Put them in the bowl with the vinegar mixture. Cut a tomato in half, place cut side down on a cutting board and slice into thin strips. This also goes into the bowl. Do the same with the onion and *1 Macerate all this together.
Boil the past, salt the water while the pasta is boiling, drain, and mix with the pesto. Start with a 1/2 cup of pesto, but you might want more. Remember the past will absorb the sauce as it sits. Add a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Pour the past into a shallow bowl. Spoon the pepper mix all around the edges. Top the past area with the crumbled feta cheese. Throw a handful of olives over the top, add more gratings of Parmesan cheese, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Use the entire leaf to garnish, also cut some leaves in *2 Chiffonade to garnish. Separate, or not, and put a little on the salad
*1 Macerate means to mix it up good, even using your hands to blend all the flavors, but dont mash the ingredients).
*2 (Chiffonade means “made of rags” in French). Roll a few leaves together cigar style and then cut across the roll to make strips
NOTES : David Paul, a chef who has a wonderful and trendy restaurant in Lahaina, gave cooking classes once a month at the Kaahumanu Mall in Maui. These were free demonstrations. This salad was one of his lessons. I’ve made enough changes to have it now be my own pasta salad. To make a hardy salad, use tortellini pasta, fresh or dried. Farfalle (bow ties) are my pasta of choice, but penne pasta works as well. I use whatever prepared pesto looks good to me and a pinch, just use the roasted peppers from a jar.
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