Whenever my parents come to town, I never plan ahead. I never prepare food. We never have a plan , so I know it just isn’t worth trying to predict. That won’t be the case this weekend! It’s Labor Day weekend and I have all the feels about the unofficial end to summer. The girls AND my niece start school on Tuesday, so we’re hoping for a great day of boating to send off summer with a bang!
And…I’m planning on a killer cookout with lots of prepped dishes to accompany whatever goes on the grill. Making things ahead of time will ensure I can soak up my family time!
My neighbor dropped off a few portions of 2 different dishes last weekend – a potato salad and a pasta salad with cucumber. Firstly, thank the lord for amazing neighbors who appreciate and make delicious food…and who share it with you. Secondly, the recipes she makes are ones I would never seem to find on my own.
Sometimes I feel in the biggest food rut, thinking I’ve made it all. Not the case, but it certainly seems that way at times. Going through the bulleted “similar to” recipes below each recipe card in each of my posts? That’s the best way for me to re-surface some old favorites. I mean, I TRULY do not remember making a Summery Minestrone Pasta Salad, but the blog and the internet tell me differently. 😉
Most importantly, my awesome neighbor sent copies of the recipes she shared with me and I need to repay the favor and send this one to her. I saw it on Pinterest and immediately KNEW it was a must-make. I wasn’t up from the dinner table before I was texting the recipe to my bestie and my mom.
It’s the perfect summer-y side dish that is delicious enough to enjoy as a main dish, day after day after day. The cheese tortellini and coated in a salty, rich, tangy, earthy tomato pesto with gobs of crunchy vegetables. It’s such a fun combination of flavors, textures, and colors!
- 1 (20 oz) bag refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 English cucumber, seeds removed and diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained and sliced
- ¼ cup (1 oz) crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley (optional)
Sun-Dried Tomato-Feta Pesto:
- 1 (7.5 oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil (do not drain)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/4 cup (1 oz) feta
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. Add tortellini and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with running water; transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil; gently toss to coat.
- While tortellini cooks, prepare the pesto by combining all pesto ingredients in a mini food processor or blender, adding water to thin, as needed (I used roughly 3 tablespoons, but a bit more may be needed if using a blender).
- Pour pesto over the tortellini and gently toss to coat.
- Add all remaining pasta salad ingredients: cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, olives, and feta; toss and serve at room temperature or chilled, with fresh parsley, if desired.
Recipe from Carlsbad Cravings
Nutrition Information:Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1/7 recipe (about 1 1/2 cups)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 14.6gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 843mgCarbohydrates: 56.4gFiber: 6.1gSugar: 13.9gProtein: 17.9g
Wanting some more pasta salad creativity? Voila!
- Mom’s Perfect Pasta Salad
- Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad
- Summery Minestrone Pasta Salad
- Thai Chicken Pasta Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
Weekly Menu: August 28th – September 1st
- Sunday: leftover chili
- Monday: CostCo Chicken Shawarma with naan and green beans
- Tuesday: Honey Mustard Chicken Kebabs
- Wednesday: brats with pasta salad and potato salad
- Thursday: out for dinner / dinner at the pool