Smoked mozzarella and roasted red pepper give this salad the heartiness of a one-dish meal. The cheese is salty enough to make additional seasoning unnecessary.
Servings: 4 - 6 main-course
- 1 1/2 pounds zucchini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces dried gemelli, penne or any similar size pasta
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch long strips*
- 4 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch-long strips
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the grill or the broiler.
Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices on a piece of aluminum foil or on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Transfer to the grill or broiler and cook until the zucchini is browned on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate; when the zucchini is cool enough to handle, cut into pieces similar in size to the pasta. Set aside.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it is al dente -- done but still a little firm to the bite. Drain the pasta in a colander, rinse with cold water until the pasta is completely cool and drain again until it is free of excess water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked zucchini, pasta, the roasted pepper, smoked mozzarella, the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Adapted from former Food section recipe editor Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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