Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad is a killer summer side dish perfect brunch, grill outs, and picnics! Make it ahead of time and serve when ready!
Welcome to the third annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We are so excited to have you join us this year! Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother’s Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast bread, sandwiches, and salads – there is something for everyone!
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Pasta salad was never high up on my list of foods to get excited about growing up. All I ever imagined in my head was the store bought macaroni salad, and no. Just no. But then I learned you can make an easy pasta salad recipe any way you want and it was game on! Pasta and all my favorite ingredients?! Yes please! This particular pasta salad is a nod to a traditional caprese, where the tomatoes have been replaced with roasted peppers (because raw tomatoes are gross), and it’s delicious!! Freshly roasted garlic and basil coating fresh mozzarella makes my mouth water just thinking about is perfect for summer side dish!
Removing the skins from your roasted peppers doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Once they’re charred and done roasting, put them in a bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers sit for about 5 minutes. The steam created will help loosen the skin from the meat of the peppers.
Making garlic paste is super easy! Just rough chop your roasted garlic, add the salt, and use the wide/flat side of your knife blade to smush the garlic and salt together. The salt acts as an abrasive to break up the softened garlic and adds flavor. Pile the garlic back up and give it another pass of two with the flat side of your knife and you’re set!
While you may not be thinking pasta salad goes with brunch, you are oh so wrong! Put a Bloody Mary next to this baby and you are in business! This pasta salad is a great option for guests with any diet concerns. Leave out the cheese for dairy-free friends, substitute gluten-free pasta, and add some chicken for a little more oomph so you’re not left starving. You have to balance out the booze some how. Am I right?! Don’t forget you can make this dish ahead of time and then bust it out for summer grill outs and picnics too. Happy eating!
Thank you for joining us this week – we hope you were inspired by all the #BrunchWeek recipes. Don’t forget to see what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers made today!
Bread, Grains, and Pastries:
Flourless Oatmeal Coconut Breakfast Cookies from Take A Bite Out Of Boca
Pyrizhky z Orikhova Masa from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Pancake Muffins with Brown Butter Glazed Walnuts from It’s Yummi
Buttermilk Waffles with Blueberry Compote from Big Bear’s Wife
Lemon Blackberry Baked Oatmeal from Cooking in Stilettos
Bacon Pancake Dippers from Making Miracles
Espresso Banana Oat Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Oatmeal and Apple Crown Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Fruits, Vegetables, and Sides:
Individual Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding with Pear Compote from Love and Confections
Spring Celebration Birthday Cake from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Vanilla Yogurt Custard Tartlettes with Roasted Grapes from Taste Cook Sip
- 12 ounces of your favorite short pasta, I used gemelli
- 2 bell peppers, cut in half, stemmed and seeded (use which ever colors you like)
- 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 large lemon
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a large pot of water to boiling, and season generously with salt. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the past and immediately cover with cold water to stop the cooking. Once pasta is cooled, drain again and set it aside.
- While the pasta cooks, place the bell peppers, cut side down, and garlic on a foil lined baking sheet. Place under your oven's broiler (set to HIGH) and cook until charred and blistered, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the baking sheet as needed to cook all the vegetables.
- Remove the garlic and peppers from the oven. Immediately place the peppers in a glass bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers sit for 5 minutes.
- Carefully squeeze out of its skin and onto a cutting board. Rough chop the garlic, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using the flat/wide edge of your knife, smush the garlic and salt together to make a paste. You'll need to re-pile the garlic together and run your knife's side over it a few times. Set garlic pasta aside.
- Next, zest the lemon (you should have about 1 to 1/2 teaspoons of zest) and then cut it in half. Chiffonade your basil leaves (you should have about 3 tablespoons cut basil). Set lemon and basil aside.
- Remove the peppers from the bowl, and peel the skin off each pepper half. Be careful, the peppers may still be hot. Once the skin is removed, slice each pepper half into thin strips and place the strips in a medium mixing bowl. Add the garlic paste and olive oil to the bowl and stir until everything is well combine and the garlic is well distributed.
- Add the lemon zest and juice the lemon into the bowl (careful not to let any seeds fall in). Stir to combine. Add the cooled pasta, mozzarella and basil to the bowl. Toss to combine.
- Transfer pasta salad to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, California Walnuts, Dixie Crystals, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Pacari Chocolate, Stonyfield Organic, Vidalia Onions, and Woot Froot for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.