Tomato-Basil Tortellini Salad

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I was talking to my friend, Kate, the other day. She lives in Florida and being a stay-at-home mom, the heat puts a serious damper on any fun summer plans. She said it’s too hot to even go to the park with her son. Miserable!

I won’t complain about the less-than-stellar summer Michigan has had. It hasn’t been horrid, but there have not been an abundance of perfect beach weather weekends. Nothing like last year, anyways. Ahh…last summer. I’m sure there’s been plenty of beautiful Tuesdays, however. As if that does this working girl any good 😉

We’re making the best of it, though. Of all the people who know to appreciate beautiful days, it’s Michiganders.

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When Mr. Prevention suggested inviting friends over last weekend, I was all about it. Under one condition: I would not be responsible for cooking, cleaning, or anything of the like.

I don’t know why I even bothered wasting my breath. The cookbook efforts got shelved for the day and I not only made Guinness and Pretzel Truffles, but also the famous Fresh Grilled Salsa (as in, the recipe that Mr. Prevention couldn’t quite master in his video blog…) and this Tomato-Basil Tortellini Salad…which was very much so adapted from our last get-together with this group of friends. I fell in love and lucky for me, my CSA has been heavy on the tomatoes this year. You’ll hear no complaints from me…tomatoes are so versatile (keep an eye out for Monday’s tomato recipe – heavenly!).

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I think my favorite part about cold pasta salads is the fact that you can add, or subtract, anything. Literally, anything. For the kids, we picked out the tortellini and they gobbled them up. Mr. Prevention…he picked out the mozzarella and tortellini and left behind the tomatoes.

As for me, I just tried to put the breaks on after a serving….of all of the ingredients. What is it about fresh mozzarella and summer’s ripest tomatoes that makes the simplest of ingredients seem like the ultimate treat? All the pasta needs is a very basic vinaigrette and so that’s what I went with…and just a touch of honey to break the bite of the red wine vinegar. However, I think a balsamic vinegar would be fabulous in this, as well. Mmmmmm.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Tomato-Basil Tortellini Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
No backyard cookout is complete without this simple, yet stunning pasta salad!
Ingredients
  • 40 oz cheese tortellini
  • 12 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 2 oz fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the tortellini, stir, and cook 7-8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse; transfer to a large bowl.
  2. To the tortellini, add the mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes.
  3. Measure the vinegar into a small bowl. In a slow stream, whisk the olive oil into the vinegar, whisking constantly. Add the honey, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine.
  4. Before serving, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately.
Notes
This recipes makes a LOT...plenty for a crowd! This recipe can easily be halved or even quartered for smaller groups.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: about 1 cup Calories: 311 Fat: 12.3 Carbohydrates: 35.5 Sugar: 4.3 Sodium: 438 Fiber: 2.6 Protein: 15.2 Cholesterol: 43

Today feels like Friday, no? So totally does. Thankfully, a long weekend is upon us. As is college football…eeeep!

Be well,

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9 Comments

  1. Lizzie
    August 29, 2013 / 3:54 pm

    Yummm. This sounds so good!

  2. August 29, 2013 / 6:12 pm

    Looks amazing!! PErfect end-of summer salad (so so sad)

  3. August 30, 2013 / 10:33 am

    Damn! Is this deliciousness what I missed on Sunday?

  4. August 30, 2013 / 12:49 pm

    That looks delish! I am off to the outdoor pool at my gym – my last day because the outdoor pool closes this weekend – waa!!

    Have an awesome weekend! Can’t wait to check out your chili submissions this year. 😀

  5. August 31, 2013 / 11:48 pm

    I’m not a tomato lover myself, but I can totally see this being a hit at a party! I have to be in “the mood” for raw tomatoes, but I also imagine myself liking it when the mood strikes!

  6. Annie Wilson
    September 8, 2013 / 8:13 pm

    I made this tonight, and it is VERY quick and easy. And very yummy. I usually make a tortellini salad with mayo. I’m so glad to have a lighter alternative!

  7. amanda
    September 19, 2013 / 5:10 pm

    Looks awesome! How many does this serve? could i make the pasta in advance then mix it? How long does it hold for?

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      September 20, 2013 / 5:44 am

      It serves a lot…about 15 as a side, maybe 7-8 as a main. The pasta will get sticky if you make ahead, but if you do, keep moist. It doesn’t keep exceptionally well…it’s best preparing and serving the same day 🙂 If you do serve the day after or keep leftovers, make a small amount of additional dressing and re-toss. I hope that helps!

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