Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Simple Tortellini Pasta Salad

Spring is here and while we haven't had the most consistent of warmer weather days, it is well into April and I'm ready to move on from Winter. Not quite ready to bring out the flip flops, but one thing I absolutely love about warmer days - pasta salad! Now, you can naturally eat pasta salad anytime of the year, but I mainly prepare it during the warmer months of Spring thru early Fall. There's just something about grilling while the kids run sans heavy coats in the back yard and I have a bowl of pasta salad ready to go in the fridge.

We were just at a fundraiser and it was potluck style. A friend brought a store bought pasta salad and I quickly tried to re-create it (with some minor tweaks) the week after. It was so good! Just a few very simple ingredients mixed together and a basic Italian dressing. Let it sit in the fridge overnight to completely absorb, add a little more dressing and a quick mix and serve. Easy!


- A good fresh tortellini (I love Buitoni fresh stuffed pastas) and used the 3 cheese tortellini
- cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- Fresh mozzarella, chopped in half (I love BelGioioso brand and used the pearls but any mozzarella chopped in bite-sized pieces would work)
- jar of marinated artichokes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
-a good salami, skin covering removed and chopped
- Italian dressing

What to do:

- cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run cool water over to stop the cooking
- combine tomatoes, mozzarella, artichokes and salami in a large bowl and give a good mixing
- add pasta and dressing and combine well
- place in refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours, overnight is best though so dressing can really absorb into each bite

Buon Appetito!

And the the best thing about pasta salad is that you can really throw in whatever you have on hand. I honestly always have the above ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator so that's an easy one for me. Other items to add could be - cooked chopped asparagus, garbanzo beans, olives and cucumber. You can't go wrong and it's fun trying new combinations!

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