YIELD: 10-12 servings
This Cheese Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad is a filling, semi-light pasta salad. Great to serve by itself and also amazing to enjoy as a side dish for grilled chicken breasts, burgers, or steaks.
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
1/3 c. olive oil to start, then add more to loosen
1 (14 ounce) can of whole artichoke hearts, drained, quartered lengthwise then halved crossways
2 rounded c. or 1 (10 ounces) cont. grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, cleaned out and thinly julienned into 1-inch-long pieces
1 (6 ounce) can of medium black olives, drained, sliced in half lengthwise
real* Parmesan (the green can kind not recommended for this)
1 (8 ounces) jar of basil pesto
10-12 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 (20-ounce) package of fresh or frozen cheese-filled tortellini, cooked al dente, cold rinsed, and drained well
1/2 teaspoon salt to start, then add more to taste
How to make Cheese Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad
Step 1: Place all the ingredients in a large bowl except for the tortellini. Gently fold until well combined. Using a plate, cover the bowl and set it aside.
Step 2: In a large saucepan or small pot with gently boiling salted water, cook the tortellini following the package directions until al dente. Then, drain when done and rinse the tortellini with cold water.
Step 3: Once the tortellini is cool and well-drained, add it to the pesto-veggie mixture and gently fold it until well-mixed.
Step 4: To taste, season with more salt, Parmesan, and olive oil. Serve the salad right away and chill it in the fridge. The next day, refresh the salad before serving by adding a little more olive oil, salt, and Parmesan. Enjoy!
To slightly stretch this salad, cook more regular or tri-colored rotini (half of a 1-pound box). Add this to the salad and mix.
You have to adjust the salt, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese, too. If needed, add more garlic.
This salad is also perfect to serve as a tasty side for grilled chicken breasts, burgers, or steaks.
If using already quartered artichoke hearts, simply slice them in half crossways.