Tortellini Salad Recipe with Artichoke Hearts, Olives, and Cherry Tomatoes
Every Thursday evening, our friend Sloan hosts a potluck at his house for whomever can make it. Every week, the food is almost all homemade and features lots of local or even garden-fresh ingredients, the people are all very genuine and open, and the mood is light. My husband and I try to make it out as often as we can. We throw together some sort of large bowl of food, load our son in the car, and head over to Sloan's house.
Last week, we had three goals in mind. First, we needed to use some of our huge crop of tomatoes and peppers from our garden. Second, our dish needed to be filling, since that week most people had planned appetizers and finger foods. And third, we wanted to keep it inexpensive, so we stuck to items already in our pantry (olives, tortellini, and artichoke hearts). The tortellini pasta salad recipe below is what we ended up with, and it was delicious.
This incredibly easy to prepare pasta salad is a perfect dish for a potluck or just dinner on a hot summer night. The cheese-stuffed tortellini wonderfully complements the fresh flavor of the cherry tomatoes and banana peppers, and the unique taste of artichoke hearts, olives, and pesto round out the dish perfectly; it is simply bursting with flavor. This is not your normal bland potluck fare!
Try to use tortellini that holds together well, as you will be stirring it a lot after it is cooked and soft. This recipe is vegetarian.
Tortellini Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Olives, and Cherry Tomatoes
makes at least eight servings
- 14 ounces dried tortellini pasta
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 medium-sized banana peppers
- 14 ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts
- 3/4 cup oil-cured and pitted black olives
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
- optional: salt to taste
1. Start some water boiling, and cook the tortellini according to the instructions on the package.
2. As the tortellini is cooking, wash the grape or cherry tomatoes and remove their stems. Wash the banana peppers, remove their stems, and chop them into thin rounds. Drain the can of artichoke hearts.
3. When the tortellini is cooked, drain off all of the water, rinse it with cold water, and then transfer it to a large bowl.
4. Mix in the cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, artichoke hearts, and black olives. Add the pesto and balsamic vinaigrette to taste, stirring thoroughly. If needed, add a little salt and mix again.
5. Cover and refrigerate until served. This dish is best served cold or at room temperature, and it is perfect for potlucks. Enjoy!