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Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Peppers

Serves 4

It makes me laugh when I think of how I get ideas for some of my new recipes. I had bought some plum tomatoes for the purpose of slow roasting them. I had no idea what I was going to use them for, but I wanted to give it a try. Then, one night I was trying to decide on a side dish for sandwiches. One thing led to another and this recipe is what evolved. It is so good. Although it is similar to the Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Vinaigrette, which is in the similar and related recipes links, the roasted tomatoes and peppers add a whole new dimension of flavor. And, since the tomatoes lose most of their juices in roasting, leftovers hold up very well for several days in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for plum tomatoes, but any tomato will work as long as you squeeze out most of the juices before roasting.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 200° F. Place the tomatoes and peppers, cut-side down, on baking racks set on baking sheets. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the tomato skins can easily be removed with your fingers. Spray or brush the vegetables with olive oil and continue to roast until the tomatoes become a dark red color, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and chop into small pieces.

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain well; place in mixing bowl. Add the onions, tomatoes and peppers; toss to combine. Mix together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Beat with a whisk to combine. Pour over the pasta; add the parsley, basil and cheese. Toss again until well-combined. Serve at room temperature.