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Pepper Mayo Dressing

May 12, 1999|DONNA DEANE

When red peppers are roasted, peeled and then pureed, they have a rich, unctuous quality that makes them a wonderful low-fat addition to mayonnaise. This mixture is best achieved in a blender; the food processor won't get the peppers as creamy.

In making this pasta, I used a special short noodle called rosette that comes from the Francis Coppola line. It looks good with the little chunks of chicken, but if you can't find it, any short tube pasta will do.

A final tip: After tossing all of the ingredients together, it's good to let the salad stand for 30 minutes or so for the flavors to blend.


Grilled Chicken and Pasta Salad With Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 35 minutes

3 red bell peppers

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves


Nonstick olive oil cooking spray

1/2 pound short tube pasta, cooked and drained

2 tablespoons minced basil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Basil leaves

* Roast peppers, 1 or 2 at a time, over open flame on gas burner until totally charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and put in paper bag and fold over top to seal. Let peppers stand until cool, about 15 minutes. Remove charred skins from peppers. Cut peppers in quarters and remove stems and seeds. Puree 2 peppers or 8 quarters in blender along with sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt until smooth. Set aside.

* Season chicken breasts with salt. Grill on stove-top grill sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or outdoor grill until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cut into 2-inch chunks.

* Toss cooked chicken with cooked and drained pasta, basil, reserved red pepper dressing and lemon juice. Add salt to taste. Spoon salad into serving bowl. Garnish with pine nuts and basil leaves.

4 servings. Each serving: 487 calories; 498 mg sodium; 99 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 50 grams carbohydrates; 49 grams protein; 0.45 gram fiber.

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