Ziti with Peppers and Marinated Mozzarella
While I can hardly taste the difference between a purple pepper and an orange one, I do love the festive look they give to plates of food. Certain peppers, like the very sweet red ones, and the slightly bitter fresh green ones are a must, from there you're on your own.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese or smoked fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, oregano, mint, etc.
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 2 cups sliced onions
- 3 cups sliced mixed bell peppers
- 2 cups Basic Fresh Tomato Sauce or store bought tomato sauce
- ½ box (½ pound) ziti, cooked al dente
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the mozzarella, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the herbs, pepper flakes, vinegar, salt and pepper. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Combine remaining oil with chopped garlic. Heat a large skillet over high heat, and bring a pot of water to a boil to reheat the pasta.
Add the garlic oil to the pan, sizzle 10 seconds until the garlic turns white, and add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato sauce, and lower flame to a simmer.
Dip the pasta in boiling water to reheat; transfer hot pasta to the sauce, allowing some of the pasta water to drip into the sauce and thin it. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Toss with marinated mozzarella, and butter and Parmesan if desired.