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Rotelle with Mozzarella and Roasted Peppers

Rotelle seems to mean different things to different people.

The photo in my Family Circle cookbook shows pinwheels, but all we ever seem to find in the store is springs. Of course, it’s fine with springs. It’s also great with penne. John prefers it with cheese-filled tortellini, because when we use those, we skip the cubed mozzarella. Chunks of cheese are not his favorite. (I know. He’s sweet but he’s crazy. At least when it comes to cheese.)

This is my very favorite side dish with steamed crab legs.

Here it is, from my Family Circle cookbook, with minor modifications.

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange or green bell pepper
8 oz rotelle (or whatever, seriously)
1 package (8 oz) part-skim mozzarella
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme OR 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Put a pot of water on for the pasta. It’s just pasta, so do whatever the instructions say. If it’s done before you’re ready for it, drain it and stick it back into the pot with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking.

Core the peppers and cut them into 1″x2″ pieces. Cover a cookie sheet with foil, and spray that with olive oil spray. Arrange the pepper pieces, skin-side-up, on the pan, and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes. You’ll need to keep an eye on them. When they start to get brown spots, roasting time is done.

Cut your mozzarella into little pieces (I like 3/4″ cubes) and set aside. In a little dish, mix up your oil, lemon juice, and spices. Use other spices if you want! It’s your dinner!

Now just put everything together in the pot with the pasta. A little trick: without burning yourself, carefully pick up the edges of the foil on the pepper pan, and use it to pick up all the peppers at once. Much easier to get them into the pot this way. Toss the pasta, peppers and cheese with your oil-and-lemon sauce, and voila!

Coring, cutting and roasting the peppers takes the longest of everything, so by the time the pasta boils, you’re practically done. The cheese will melt a little once it’s all put together, but it’ll stay in nice chunks. Go eat it. It’s great.

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.