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Romesco Orzo Pasta Salad

Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword pasta, vegetarian
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Cherry on My Sundae

Ingredients

Romesco sauce

  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds toasted
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts toasted
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pasta salad

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 eggplant diced
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 4 Calabrian chilies sliced
  • ¼ cup feta crumbled
  • ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
  • 2 tablespoon dill chopped
  • 2 tablespoon parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Toss the halved cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Place the bell pepper on a baking sheet. Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and the bell pepper is charred. Reserve half of the tomatoes and set them aside. Transfer the bell pepper into a container and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and remove the skin and discard the seeds.
  • Blend the bell pepper with half of the cherry tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, ¼ cup toasted almonds, ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon paprika, and 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar. With the blender running, slowly add ½ cup olive oil. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook the diced eggplant and sliced red onion until softened and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 cup orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and add the orzo to the cooked eggplant and red onion. Add the reserved cherry tomatoes, Calabrian chilies, and romesco sauce. Stir gently until combined. Top with crumbled feta, pine nuts, fresh dill, and parsley. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.