Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers and Onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound pasta, small tubes or shells
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large red and/or yellow bell peppers
- 1 medium onion, julienned
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Hungarian or Spanish paprika
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 dashes hot sauce
Bring 1 gallon salted water to a rolling boil in a large stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, shaking vigorously, and immediately transfer to an oiled cookie sheet or clean countertop to cool. When cooled, transfer to a bowl, and toss with a little olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.
Meanwhile, roast bell peppers over a gas flame or on a tray under the broiler. Keep turning so the skin is evenly charred, without burning and drying out the flesh. Transfer charred peppers to a paper or plastic bag, tie the top closed and let steam until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. To peel peppers, pull off the charred skin by hand and then, only if necessary, dip the peppers briefly in water to remove any blackened bits. (Do not peel the peppers under running water since that would wash away the flavorful juices.) Once peeled, cut away stems, seeds and veins, and slice peppers into strips.
Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions, salt, and pepper, and cook until golden brown. Lower heat to moderate, add garlic, cook 1 minute, then add paprika, and cook 1 minute more. Add red peppers and tomatoes, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Transfer to a medium bowl and combine with sour cream and hot sauce. Pour over reserved pasta, toss well, and serve.
Variation: Add about 1/2 a pound Genoa salami, sliced thinly and julienned, to Sauteed onions before adding garlic.
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