Roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta salad, perfect for hot, lazy summer days

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When it comes to pasta, the pastabilities are endless. Ok, so that pun was ridiculous, but the sentiment is not. Summer doesn’t mean the end of pasta dishes, it just means whisking up a more acidic sauce, plunging the ingredients into an ice bath, and calling it a salad!
This recipe might look like a traditional hot roasted red pepper pasta at first glance, but it’s actually a pasta salad that is served cold, keeps well in the fridge, and tastes fresh, delicious, and perfect for summer. If you don’t prefer rigatoni, could always customize this with another shape of pasta, like shells or spirals.
Cooktop Cove
Roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta salad
10 minutes
20 minutes
30 minutes
1 roasted red bell pepper, skinned and seeded (fresh or from a jar)
¼ cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt, plus more for the water
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup shelled fresh summer peas
1 pound rigatoni
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
In a food processor, process the red bell pepper until smooth. Add the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper, and pulse until a smooth vinaigrette forms.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add the peas and cook about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on how soft you like your peas.
While the peas are cooking, prepare a large bowl full of cold water and ice.
Once the peas are cooked to your preference, drain them and drop them into the ice bath for one to two minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
Return the pot to the stove with more salted water. Once boiling, add the rigatoni, and cook it according to the instructions on the box. Drain and let cool.
In a large bowl, add the rigatoni, peas, and the red pepper vinaigrette and feta, if you're using it. Stir well and serve.
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