Cheese Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

Thursday, September 22, 2011

  Lemon chicken---too tart.  Cottage meatloaf---great flavor, but fell apart into a pile of goulash.  S'more cookies--average.  Apple mac and cheese---weird.  BLT pasta--needs tweaking.  Basil mashed potatoes---blah. 

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

Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:

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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Anonymous,  September 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM  

This looks sooo YUMMY & I LOVE that it's sooo EASY to make too :) Can't wait to try it!! Thanks!

Sharon September 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM  

This one looks great, but I hear about the duds, I'm going back to some summer recipes for the blog because I have been in a rut... Love the pesto but have to admit I would be one of your picky kids and pick out the tomatoes, I love all things tomato except the actual tomato...

Coleen September 23, 2011 at 3:56 AM  

I could eat this EVERY day, it is MY kind of salad!! Beautiful photo too.

Julie September 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM  

This one really does sound like a winner. Hate it when the new recipes I try aren't what I hoped they would be.

Martha A. September 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

Wow!!! That looks so good!!

teresa September 26, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

oh yummy!! i could eat a bit old bowl of this!

Kim September 27, 2011 at 12:52 AM  

This is a pasta salad worth getting excited about.

Mahmudul Hasan January 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM  

Great job .Thanks for sharing such a fantastic recipe.Keep up writing and giving us many more like this one.
Tortellini recipes

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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