summer pea and roasted red pepper pasta salad

April 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm 5 comments

Can I be completely honest with you? I’m not a pasta salad kind of a girl, which is sort of bizarre, considering how much I love pasta. But cold and savory are not my favorite combination, and when you throw in the usual icky blend of mayonnaise and goodness only knows what else, it’s enough to make my stomach turn.

But this one intrigued me. For starters, it was red. And on top of that, it only involves vegetables that I already go out of my way to consume. Of course I added feta cheese. Because food isn’t really food without cheese*.

It’s not difficult to make, but it would be even easier if you disregard the whole fresh peas plan, and use frozen peas. Shelling peas, while not difficult, is time consuming. And yeah, I know it’s not summer yet, but I’m afraid I just could not wait.

If you want to really love this, make it a day ahead. I’ve enjoyed it more as leftovers than I did at first, now that everything’s had a chance to soak up the vinaigrette.

Summer pea & roasted red pepper pasta salad

Barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen (which I love, go read it!).

  • 1 pound of small pasta shells
  • 1/4 pound snow pea pods, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 pound fresh peas (I used English peas) or frozen peas, thawed, if you’re crunched for time
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (you can leave this out, I just love cheese)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup roasted red pepper vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and prepare an ice water bath in a small bowl. Boil the snow pea pods for about 2 minutes (they should still be crisp). Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drop them in the ice bath. Add the summer peas to the boiling water, and cook for about 10-12 minutes (10 will be al dente, if you want them softer, increase the time – if you’re using frozen peas, you will need much less time than this). Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drop them in the ice bath as well. Add the pasta to the water and cook as directed. Drain and set aside to cool.

Cut the snow peas into slivers. Combine peas, pasta, feta cheese and vinaigrette, tossing to coat.

Roasted red pepper vinaigrette

  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skinned and seeded (or the equivalent from a jar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot (about 1 small)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Puree the bell pepper in a food processor or blender, then add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Adjust vinegar level and seasonings to taste.

*This philosophy is why I’ve gained 20 pounds since college.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Win  |  April 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    sounds really good!

    Reply
  • 2. Mary Sue  |  April 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I concur. I believe we need to try this.

    Reply
  • 3. Grandma  |  April 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Me too, watch the 20 lbs. though, they can get out of hand before you know it.

    Reply
  • 4. April  |  May 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/mediterranean-pepper-salad/

    Another SK summer not leafy salad that is OMG OMG OMG (with FETA!!!)You should try this, and I will try yours next week! I starred it in my Google Reader (:

    Reply
    • 5. erin  |  May 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      Don’t you just love SK? That and Joy the Baker are probably the only two blogs that I actually *read* every time, whether the food interests me or not.

      Reply

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