Fresh Pepper Pasta Salad

Fresh Pepper Pasta Salad

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 salt
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)


  1. 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.
  2. Place peppers in food processor or blender. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper; process until smooth. Cool.
  3. 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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