Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zesty Italian Tortellini Salad

This is a cold pasta salad that you will find yourself making time and time again. It is refreshing and can be made as a side dish or it can easily take center stage as your main course. During Lent, I am making this salad almost every Friday for lunch because it is so easy, healthy and delicious.

Recipe yields 4 servings (4 servings for a main course - more if you are having it as a side)

*The salad keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week so it won't be a bad thing if you make too much!

Pasta salad:
20 oz. cheese tortellini (I used cheese, but you can swap out for whichever flavor you like)
1 large cucumber
1 large red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups black olives
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Zesty Italian Dressing:
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp garlic salt
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1/2 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp salt

Bring a pot of water to a rolling bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and drop in the tortellini. Cook tortellini until soft, about 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, chop the cucumber, bell pepper and black olives and shred the carrots.

In a large bowl, combine all vegetables and mix together well.

In a medium bowl, add all ingredients for the dressing. Whisk together until well combined.

Transfer to a container that will be easy to pour from and has a tight lid for storage. Place dressing in the refrigerator to cool. (Note: Dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 months, so I always like to make it in batches and use it on salads or veggies.)

Drain pasta from the pot and rinse with cold water for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 25-30 minutes, or until cool. Combine pasta and vegetables in a large bowl. Coat with dressing and mix well. Serve & enjoy!

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