Thursday, September 22, 2011
After a summer of eating old-favorite foods almost every night, I was excited for school to start, so I could get a little wild and crazy in the kitchen again. But alas, after trying dud after dud after dud over the last few weeks, my culinary bravado is starting to wane. Thank goodness for this one bright shining star recipe in among all those other lackluster dishes, or I'd be ready to throw in the towel. Er, at least throw down my cookbooks and buy myself a new one.
With its classic garlic, basil, and cheese flavors, I'm putting this pasta salad on my list of dishes that would be great to serve at a potluck. A couple of my picky kids picked the tomatoes out of their servings, but had no trouble gobbling up the rest of it. Don't worry if you end up with some leftovers...this was just as tasty the next day! Makes for a great vegetarian main dish or a hearty side dish to go along with some grilled meat. Enjoy!
Recipe Source: Worldwide Ward Cookbook: Secret Recipes
8-oz. rotini pasta
1 pkg. (20-ounces) cheese filled tortellini (find in the refrigerated or frozen section)
1 can (14-ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (10-ounces) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 can (6-ounces) black olives, drained, halved lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 jar (8-ounces) basil pesto (I used 1 cup of fresh pesto)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
12-ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
Directions: Cook pastas in boiling water as directed on package; set aside to drain and cool. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients, folding gently until well mixed. Gently fold in pastas.
Add additional salt, pesto, or olive oil if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. If you make this a day ahead, you may need to add a bit more olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese before serving. Serve at room temperature. Makes 10-12 servings. Enjoy!
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