Early Summer Pasta Toss

Early Summer Pasta Toss
 
A bright and summery pasta dish that can be served warm or cold. The addition of fresh mozzarella would make this a great vegetarian main dish.
 
Ingredients:                                       Serves 8 as a side dish; 4-6 as a vegetarian main
6-8 spears of Asparagus
2 Red Bell Peppers
3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1 pound Red Chile Linguini
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
4 Tomatoes, diced
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Aleppo Pepper
1⁄4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Sea Salt & ground Black Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh Basil, torn
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
 
Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water, salted to taste of the ocean, to boil over high heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until aromatic but not yet browned. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, and balsamic vinegar and cover, simmering for 7-10 minutes until the tomatoes fall apart. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Roast the red peppers on the stove or the grill until well charred, but leave the skin on.
  4. Snap off any woody bottoms of the asparagus at their natural breaking-off point. Cut the red bell peppers in half and remove all seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into bite sized pieces. Toss both the pepper pieces and asparagus in 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on a hot grill until they’re lightly charred and still crisp-tender in texture.
  5. Boil the pasta approx. 8-9 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  6. Place pasta in a large bowl. Cut the grilled asparagus on a sharp bias into bite-sized pieces, and chop the grilled bell pepper into bite-sized diamond shapes, and add both to the pasta. Add the tomato balsamic sauce, parsley, basil, and parmesan cheese, and toss until well combined. Serve warm.

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