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Tortellini Salad | Marta in Chicago

Every May, Evan and I travel to New Hampshire for a dual celebration: his Mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day. Family and friends gather at his mom’s for a BBQ-style feast complete with snacks, burgers, dogs, side dishes, and plenty of libations. Although the house and yard are spacious, we all tend to gravitate to the kitchen where we chat and catch up until food is served. It’s a joyous time filled with stories, both new and old. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard at one point!

While Evan mans the grill, I hit the kitchen to whip up our sides. I try to mix things up from year to year, usually selecting one green salad and one pasta salad. A perennial favorite is my Mediterranean Pasta Salad, but this year I thought I’d try a tortellini salad. I like this pasta salad because it has a nice green base of spinach. And olives! If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love olives!

Roll up your sleeves and grab your ingredients: cheese tortellini, fresh spinach, fresh basil, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, grated parmesan cheese, and Italian salad dressing.

Begin by boiling a large pot of water and cook 20 ounces fresh or dried cheese tortellini according to the package instructions. Be careful not to overcook them – they cook quickly and if they’re too tender they will tear when stirring. After draining them, rinse thoroughly with cold water until cool. This will stop the cooking process and will prevent the greens from wilting when combined.

Tortellini Salad | Marta in Chicago

Coarsely chop 6 ounces fresh spinach and basil to taste. Add them to a large serving bowl.

Tortellini Salad | Marta in Chicago

Slice 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives. Wash a pint of cherry tomatoes, then slice each in half. Drain and chop one 15-ounce can artichoke hearts. Add all of these to your serving bowl.

Tortellini Salad | Marta in Chicago

Tortellini Salad | Marta in Chicago

Next, add the cooled tortellini. Top with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing. Stir gently to combine. Viola! Now you have an easy and delicious pasta salad! Enjoy!

Tortellini Salad | Marta in Chicago

Notes: Feel free to add more parmesan cheese or Italian dressing if desired. You can also add a bit of cubed salami if you want to spice things up!

Tortellini Salad


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4-7 minutes

20 ounces fresh or dried cheese tortellini
Handful fresh basil, chopped
6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing

1) Boil a large pot of water and cook 20 ounces fresh or dried cheese tortellini according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.

2) Chop 6 ounces fresh spinach and basil to taste. Add them to a large serving bowl. Slice 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives. Wash and half a pint cherry tomatoes. Drain and chop one 15 ounce can artichoke hearts. Add these to your serving bowl as well. Next, add the cooled tortellini. Top with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing. Stir gently to combine. Enjoy!

Notes: Add more parmesan cheese or Italian dressing if desired. You can also add a bit of cubed salami if you want to spice things up!

Pasta, Salad, Side Dishes, Vegetarian