Fresh Pepper Pasta Salad
Makes 8 cups
|5||tablespoons olive oil, divided|
|4||large red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips|
|2||cloves garlic, cut into thin slices|
|3||tablespoons balsamic vinegar|
|1/2||teaspoon black pepper|
|8||ounces rotelle or armoniche pasta|
|3/4||cup fresh basil leaves, stemmed|
|1-1/2||cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained|
|1/2||cup grated Parmesan cheese|
|1/3||cup chopped walnuts|
|1/4||cup sliced green olives (optional)|
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of bell pepper strips and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Cover; cook 10 minutes or until very soft, stirring occasionally.
- Place peppers in food processor or blender. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper; process until smooth. Cool.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place in large bowl. Add remaining bell pepper strips and dressing; toss to coat. Cool slightly. Stack basil with largest leaves on bottom; roll up. Slice roll into 1/4-inch-thick slices; separate into strips. Add basil, chickpeas, cheese, walnuts and olives, if desired, to pasta mixture; toss to blend. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
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