Pasta Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables and Fresh Mozzarella
The key to the flavor of this dish, as with many, is using fresh seasonal vegetables — organic and local, even better.
- 3 orange and yellow bell peppers chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 red onion quartered and sliced into medium-thick slices
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and halved
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 16 oz. penne rigate or other cut pasta (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic or other sweet vinegar
- 8 oz. marinated mozzarella balls cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 2 Tbsp. of their oil
- Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat a large pot of water to cook the pasta.
- In a medium bowl, toss the peppers, onions and garlic with the oil and salt. Spread the vegetables evenly on the baking sheet and roast them for 10 minutes, then flip them and cook them for 3 – 5 more minutes until they are peppers are browned in spots. Remove them from the oven and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, then transfer it to a large serving bowl and toss it with the roasted vegetables, the spinach, tomatoes, basil, vinegar and 2 Tbsp. of the oil from the mozzarella.
- Toss it thoroughly, and when it has cooled a little, stir in the cheese. Season it with salt and pepper to taste and cover tightly and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve it, up to 2 days.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the bell peppers, slice the onion, peel and halve the garlic, roast the vegetables, cook the pasta and toss it with a little oil to prevent sticking, chop the tomatoes, cut and refrigerate the mozzarella or fully prepare and refrigerate the salad. Tip: Reserve the rest of the oil from the mozzarella to use as a dipping oil for breads or to season vegetables, grains or pasta. Scramble Flavor Booster: Stir in 1/4 cup of sliced olives or 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, and 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes. Nutritional Information per Serving (% based upon Daily Values): Calories 391, Total Fat 16g, 24.5%, Saturated Fat 4g, 20.5%, Cholesterol 10mg, 3.5%, Sodium 211mg, 9%, Carbohydrate 51g, 17%, Dietary Fiber 3.5g, 14.5%, Sugar 3g, Protein 12.5g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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