I know I said I would be away from my computer until next year, but I made this Christmas Pasta Salad that everyone just loved so I had to share it with you.
It is festive and extra delicious, serve at room temperature with an assortment of sliced salami.
Use cheese tortellini instead of plain pasta and bring out the flavor from the artichoke hearts and asparagus by grilling them before tossing in the salad.
As I always say: use the best ingredients you can find, make it with love and you will always end up with the best of flavors.
Have an Amazingly Delicious Holiday Season !
Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe
(serves 6 + )
- 20 oz cheese Tortellini -refrigerated
- 2 x 15 oz can artichoke hearts
- 15 oz can black olives -pitted and halved
- 3 c heirloom grape & cherry tomatoes -halved
- 1 small red onion sliced
- 4 c baby spinach leaves
- 15 basil leaves – thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb asparagus -cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 lb brown Italian mushrooms -sliced
- 2 roasted red peppers sliced
- the zest from 1 lemon
- the juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. Bring the pasta water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the tortellini and cook according to the instructions on the package. Drain and rinse briefly under cold water then transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, olives and spinach leaves on top and the heat from the pasta will help the leaves wilt perfectly.
2. Drain the artichoke hearts and pat them dry with paper towels. Mix them together with the asparagus and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Heat up a cast iron skillet or fire grill and grill them until nice marks appear. Transfer them to the bowl with the tortellini.
3. In a medium skillet heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt until translucent and starts to brown. Transfer them to the pasta bowl and add one more tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt and saute until softened and all the moisture has evaporated. Work in batches if necessary. Transfer them to the pasta bowl.
4. Whisk the remaining olive oil with the lemon juice and lemon zest, season with the sea salt and black pepper then pour on top of the tortellini, tomatoes, olives, asparagus, artichoke hearts, onions, roasted peppers and mushrooms. Sprinkle with the basil and toss to coat gently.
Serve at room temperature with a nice bottle of wine.