Two-Pepper Pasta Salad
Pickled sweet banana peppers make a great basis for flavoring a pasta salad. Combined with fresh, sweet, bell pepper and a pungent dressing made with some of the pickling liquid from the peppers and a little anchovy paste, the dish has a nice mix of sweet and sour elements. The anchovy paste is optional if you don't care for the flavor.
- 8 ounces rotini, penne or other pasta
- 1 medium orange (or red) bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled sweet banana peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pickling liquid from the peppers
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon anchovy paste (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, pickling liquid, red wine vinegar, mustard and anchovy paste. Pour over the pasta and mix well. Allow to stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.
Add the bell pepper, pickled peppers, onion and parsley. Mix well, season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little extra olive oil before serving.
Makes 4 side dish servings
You can find pickled sweet banana peppers either whole or sliced on the pickle aisle of most supermarkets. We like to use the whole variety because we find that they hold their crunch a little better.