Vegetarian Tortellini SaladPosted: August 4, 2011
For the record, I’m not a vegetarian. But I do love veggies, and many of my favorite recipes are lacking meat. This one happens to be a ‘vegetarian’ option – and I hope that won’t put off any meat-lovers out there (in fact, you could probably add meat if you really wanted to). Trust me on this recipe; it’s tasty, super easy, and totally versatile. I ate half of it for dinner, then brought the rest to work for lunch the following day. It was equally delicious warm and cold.
I found the recipe online, and when I realized I only had about half of the ingredients in my house, I decided to make it anyway, using whatever I could find, similar to my Simplest Stir Fry. The recipe below reflects the way I made the dish. The original recipe also called for olives, artichoke hearts and endive or romaine lettuce. Though these ingredients would have probably been delicious, I didn’t have them, so I improvised. It worked out well, which makes it clear that this recipe can really be tailored to fit your tastes.
Vegetarian Tortellini Salad
7 oz. cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered*
1 large handful fresh sugar snap peas or green beans
1 large handful red pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons fresh basil, torn into small bits (be generous)
1/4 cup shaved fresh Parmesan cheese**
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
Fill a mixing bowl with ice and water and set aside. In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Flash the green beans in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to blanch them. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and submerge them in the ice bath to stop them cooking. Leave in for a minute and then drain them thoroughly. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In the same water, cook the tortellini per package directions. In a small saucepan, blanch the red peppers the same way as the peas. While tortellini is cooking, combine tomatoes, peas, peppers, cheese and olive oil. When the pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly. While still warm, toss the tortellini in the bowl with the other ingredients so it soaks in the oil and flavors. Right before serving, stir in basil. Add ground black pepper to taste.
*I had about a handful of grape tomatoes and three (yes, three) cherry tomatoes from my garden. I quartered them and tossed them in. I wish I’d had more, but that’s life.
**I didn’t have any Parmesan, not even shredded. I did have feta, and it was really good. Next time I’ll plan ahead and have Parmesan, because it goes so well with tortellini.