Friday, June 29, 2012

Tortellini Pasta Salad

When I was in graduate school, I made everything from scratch, because it was cheaper. That included expensive items like ravioli and tortellini because flour and eggs and cheese or spinach were so much more economical to buy than pre-made ravioli or tortellini. Don't be misled into believing this was a daily occurrence, it was definitely party food or special occasions. And one of my favorite times to make tortellini was for this summer pasta salad, perfect for 4th of July BBQs or lazy afternoon picnics!

Ripe tomatoes, crunchy celery and bell peppers tossed in a creamy garlic sauce spiked with succulent black olives, this salad was a hit with everyone who sampled it, and always received demands for the recipe. Luckily it's a breeze to toss together once you've chopped the veggies. Boil water for the tortellini and make the dressing as it cooks, and presto, you have a gorgeous salad that is both fun and filling and not your usual pasta salad.

While you can easily buy pre-made tortellini, fresh or dried, I decided to make this a vegan version by making a quick flour dough without eggs similar to a gyoza wrapper recipe I make for pot stickers and stuffed it with steamed spinach sauteed with some onions. One short cut I also use is wonton wrappers, which are easy to find if you have access to an Asian grocery store.  Just follow the recipes on the wonton wrapper package on how to seal it. 

Tortellini Pasta Salad
(serves 4-6)

1 lb tortellini
4 roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 inch slices and cut in half
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper,chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
15 black olives, cut in half
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Cook tortellini as directed, drain and place in large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, pepper, celery, olive and parsley to large mixing bowl and toss with tortellini. Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and olive oil in measuring cup and beat well to combine. Season with salt and pepper and pour over vegetables and tortellini. Chill for at least an hour before serving.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Salad at An Edible Mosaic
Greek Fritata at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
Pea Shoot and Cashew Cheese Wonton Ravioli at Veggie Fixation

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I love that you made homemade ravioli and tortellini to save money! The premade stuff really is absurdly expensive! WHat a tasty pasta salad! Perfect summer fare.