- Kosher salt
- 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
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 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.
Per serving: Calories 731; Fat 37 g (Saturated 11 g); Cholesterol 41 mg; Sodium 845 mg; Carbohydrate 73 g; Fiber 6 g; Protein 26 g
Photographs by Antonis Achilleos