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Tortellini pasta salad recipe
We served this tortellini pasta salad recipe in a giant bowl at a family get-together, and it vanished in 15 minutes flat!
Kids love tortellini - small, donut-shaped pasta stuffed with chese, cheese and spinach, or meat filling. When I was a kid I lived in Rome, Italy for two years, and one of my favorite activities was watching tortellini spill out of the tortellini machine at the local fresh pasta shop. Somehow or other that machine could turn a vat of filling, and circles of pasta cut from a foot-wide strip of pasta dough, into something both beautiful and delicious!
If you do make this tortellini pasta salad recipe with olives, please don't buy the black olives in cans - they don't have any flavor and will not enhance this salad! Buy them in jars or at the olive bar at your local Italian or Greek grocer, delicatessen, or supermarket.
1 lb package of fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
1 cup black or green olives
2 sweet red bell peppers
6 leaves fresh basil, or 1 tsp pesto
6 sprigs fresh parsley, or 1 tsp dried
1/4 lb whole parmesan cheese (Reggiano if possible)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions, but do not overcook.
2. While the pasta cooks, wash the tomatoes, peppers, and basil. Slice the tomatoes in half (or in quarters or if they are unusually large cherry tomatoes), and cut the peppers into one-inch squares.
3. Drain pasta in a collander and place in a pot of cold water for 30 seconds, then drain again. Toss with a small amount of olive oil in a salad bowl.
4. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and olives to the salad.
5. Mix the olive oil, vinegars, soy sauce and Dijon mustard together in a bowl, stirring briskly with a fork. (If you are using pesto instead of fresh basil, mix this in with the dressing.) Pour over the salad and mix well. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
6. With a paring knife cut thin shavings of cheese from the block of Parmesan and sprinkle on top.
7. Chop the basil coarsely if using, and the parsley somewhat more finely. Sprinkle over the parmesan.
8. Mix once more when ready to serve. Can be served warm, room temperature, or chilled. This pasta will keep several days in the refrigerator, and will not spoil for several hours if left out (for instance on a picnic).
Tortellini salad with cherry tomatoes, olives and peppers