Pasta Salad-Stuffed Peppers

"The sweetness of the peppers mixed with the pasta and briny capers makes it the perfect small bite," says Sherri Williams of Crestview[, FL.]

Total Time:
25 min
20 min
5 min

35 to 40 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup orzo or anelletti pasta
  • 3 slices serrano ham
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated manchego cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 35 to 40 sweet piquante peppers (such as Peppadews), drained and patted dry
  • Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, fry the ham in a skillet over medium heat, turning, until crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then crumble.

  • Combine the pasta, tomatoes, red onion, capers, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, cheese and half of the crumbled ham in a bowl.

  • Make the vinaigrette: Toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and crush with a skillet. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, rosemary, oregano, crushed fennel, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and the red pepper flakes in a bowl. Pour over the pasta mixture and mix until combined.

  • Carefully stuff the pasta salad into the peppers using a small spoon. Top with the remaining crumbled ham.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch

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