Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad
Fresh roasted bell peppers and cute bite-sized balls of mozzarella make this a standout summer salad.
|12 ounces||mezzi rigatoni or other short tube-shaped pasta|
|2||bell peppers (red and/or yellow), halved, stemmed and seeded|
|6 cloves||garlic, unpeeled|
|1/3 cup||extra-virgin olive oil|
|8 ounces||bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)|
|1 bunch||fresh basil, leaves torn|
|freshly ground pepper|
Preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Shake off the excess water. Meanwhile, place the bell peppers cut-side down on a foil-lined broiler pan, add the garlic and broil until charred, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover and set aside about 5 minutes. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, shaking the pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Squeeze the garlic from its skin onto a cutting board. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt; mince and mash the garlic into a paste with a large knife. Peel the roasted peppers and slice into strips; transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic paste and drizzle with the olive oil. Finely grate about 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the bowl and squeeze in all of the lemon juice. Add the bocconcini, basil, almonds, pasta, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; toss.