Roasted Tomato and Sweet Pepper Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Pepper Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

Colorful, nutritious, and delicious, this pasta salad will quickly become your new favorite potluck party dish!

Did you know that June is National Dairy Month? Well if you didn't, you do now! Here in Michigan this is an important thing to celebrate, since more than 98% of Michigan dairy farms are family owned and operated. Dairy farming is a true Michigan tradition! Michigan’s 2,030 dairy farms produce more than enough milk to supply our state, so we are fortunate our milk is local.

We eat and drink a lot of dairy products in our house. We consume milk, ice cream and cheese on a daily basis. I cook and bake with cream, butter and cream cheese quite often. Like I said, I love my dairy!

Summer is finally here, and that means lots of BBQ's and dinners with family and friends. Lots of potlucks, parties and picnics, too. My grill has been getting a workout already! In addition to the goodies that get cooked up on that grill, I love to have a handful of my favorite trusty side dishes on standby. This new pasta salad just moved up to the number one spot!

Fresh veggies, pasta, creamy bites of mozzarella cheese, and a simple and light homemade dressing make a wonderful and hearty side dish. I'll warn you now, this feeds an army! So be prepared to feed a big crowd, or make sure you have room in the frig for leftovers. It tastes equally amazing even after sitting a day or two, and is a great accompaniment to just about anything.

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (known as Milk Means More) is hosting a Twitter party on Wednesday, June 10th at 8 pm EST to celebrate June Dairy Month! They'll be swapping recipes and dishing about their favorite dairy ingredients and the best ways to savor summer. Also, one lucky winner will receive a giveaway package including an ice cream maker and cookbook! Follow them on Twitter for more updates. 

Now, let's get on to the recipe!

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Pepper Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella
Author: Sarah Bates | The Chef Next Door
Makes 8 servings
Print this recipe

10.5 oz. package red Cherub tomatoes, halved
10.5 oz. package yellow Sunburst tomatoes, halved
3 tsp fresh chopped oregano
1 large, or 2 small, garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 16 oz. package dried rotini pasta
1 orange sweet bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
8 oz. small fresh mozzarella balls

For the dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp white pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes in a medium bowl. Add the oregano, garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil to the bowl and gently toss everything together so that it's all coated. Line a large baking pan with tin foil and spread the tomato mixture in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt. Roast the tomatoes, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until they start to shrivel and turn light brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water, then drain again. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. 

In a large serving bowl, add the cooled pasta, then the tomatoes and any drippings from the pan. Next add the sweet pepper pieces and the mozzarella. Pour the dressing evenly all over the salad and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Bon Appetit!
I'm proud to partner with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan and I thank them for sponsoring this post! I was compensated for developing a recipe that's perfect for potlucks and parties that celebrates June Dairy Month. As always, all opinions are my own. UDIM, branded as Milk Means More, is the umbrella organization for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Michigan. Their goal is to promote Michigan’s locally produced dairy products and reconnect consumers with the people behind their food.

For more great dairy recipes, follow Milk Means More, on Pinterest. To learn more about nutrition, animal care/well-being and on-farm practices related to dairy products and the dairy industry, you may want to follow Milk Means More on Facebook. You can also follow them on InstagramTwitter and YouTube

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out the Easy Weeknight Rigatoni with Beef Marinara from The Lazy Mom's Cooking Blog!

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