May 14, 2013

Tortellini and Basil Salad

The fresh basil is what makes this salad so amazing.  But it is the tomatoes with the basil that puts it over the top.  Yes, it is just tomato and basil...but the 2 together with the tortellini is such a flavor and texture explosion.  The olive oil makes it creamy and the optional salami gives it a bite of spice.  I love to eat this salad with a grilled steak or chicken.  You can also place on top of mixed greens.  I also make this as a hot pasta dish, omitting the salami.
  • 1 (16 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 8 ounces shredded asiago  cheee 
  • 1 lb. container of grape tomatoes, cut in half,  the long way
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup or more  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning or fresh oreganao
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Optional:  Add grilled chicken and or pine nuts
  1. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions, but just short 2 minutes of package time.  
  2. Drain in a colander set in the sink, and rinse with cold water.   
  3. Place the tortellini, tomatoes, garlic, seasoning and cheese in a large salad bowl.   
  4. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.    
  5. Top with basil.   
  6.  Gently stir to combine, and refrigerate  before serving. For even better flavor, let chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, then SERVE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

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