July 4th Tortellini Salad

Another name for Torellini is “ombelico” (belly button).  Hence why popular myths around the creation of the pasta have to do with a man viewing a woman’s belly button and being inspired by its beauty to create a pasta after it. I can’t say many belly buttons have inspired me in my life or that associating belly buttons with my pasta makes it any more appetizing….regardless, I still love tortellini salad.  I have no pictures to pair with this post because even after making a double batch, it was all gone by the 5th of July.

This is a super simple salad that can be modified to your liking. The original recipie called for black olives, which I omitted.  It also called for making the dressing yourself, but I skipped that step and used Ken’s Italian dressing, which is much easier and just as tasty.  I recently used Ken’s Italian with Garlic and Asiago Cheese — it was delicious.  I put a few notes in the ingredients list below about specifics of what to choose.

Tortellini Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
    • I like to buy tri-colored, as it makes the salad very appealing on the eyes.
  • 4 ounces sliced Genoa salami, cut into small slivers
    • I buy a quarter lb at the grocery store and use about half to a third of it
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 Red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a Green pepper, chopped
  • cherry tomatos, chopped
    • use your best judgement on how many, about the same as the red/green peppers
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
    • I like to buy the packaged olive-sized balls of mozzerella that are soaking in spices and olive oil and cut them in half
  • Ken’s Italian Dressing (a little over a half of a cup)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions, drain in a colander set in the sink, and rinse with cold water.
  2. Please all other ingredients and cooled tortellini into a large bowl and toss together.
  3. Add the Ken’s dressing and gently stir to combine, and refrigerate to chill before serving. For even better flavor, let chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

TIPS from original recipe:

Took some reviewers advice and used a variety of olives, marinated artichokes, and marinated mozzarella balls from the “Mediterranean Bar” (next to the salad bar) at the grocery store. Added slivered red & green peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, and hard salami. Used tri-colored cheese tortellini – and after cooking, tossed it in a little bit of the marinade from the container of olives, artichokes, and mozzarella so it wouldn’t stick together before I added in all the other ingredients.

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