Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Recipe: Pasta Salad with Red Pepper Pesto

I made this recently for a going away party. It went well with the pizza, but not so great with the chips and salsa. LOL.

Anyway, it's from Rachael Ray, one of my favorite TV cooks. When I make this again, I'll omit the green peppers, because I don't really like them. I think olives might be a good substitute.

Pasta Salad with Red Pepper Pesto

Red Pepper Pesto
1 cup drained, packed roasted red peppers
2 small cloves garlic (I always put more garlic than a recipe asks for)
3 oz. pine nuts
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (eyeball it)

Salad
1 pound whatever pasta you want (I used fusilli, the corkscrew kind)
1 cup drained marinated mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Italian hot pepper rings, drained and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped

Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.

Combine roasted peppers, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, salt and pepper and cheese in a food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in the extra-virgin olive oil until a thick pasty sauce forms. Adust seasoning and transfer sauce to a large bowl.

Add salt to boiling water and cook pasta to al dente firmness (firm to the bite.) Drain and cool under running cold water to stop the cooking process. Add cooked, cooled pasta to the pesto sauce. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste and serve or chill up to 48 hours.

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