Red Pepper Pesto Sauce:
- 1 cup drained, packed roasted red peppers
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 1 (3-ounce) jar pignoli/pine nuts
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, a couple of handfuls
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
- 1 pound mini penne or gemelli pasta, cooked to al dente
- 1 cup drained marinated mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup Italian hot pepper rings, drained and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped
Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
Combine roasted peppers, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, salt and pepper and cheese in a food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in the extra-virgin olive oil to form a thick, pasty sauce forms. Adjust seasoning and transfer sauce to a large bowl.
Add salt to boiling water and cook pasta to al dente, drain and cool under running cold water. Drain well a second time. Add cooked, cooled pasta to the pesto sauce. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss to coat salad evenly. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste and serve or chill up to 48 hours.