Around our house during the summer months, a cutting board and sharp knife are always within reach. In some cases, they assume permanent residence on our kitchen counter for days at a time. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and aromatic herbs – either from our own backyard garden or Nelson Produce – are breakfast, lunch, and dinner staples.
When the June calendar turned to July and a family Fourth of July cookout called for a side dish, I had two no-brainer assumptions: search for a recipe on Pinterest, and ensure said recipe called for fresh produce. Plenty of fresh produce.
I was delighted to locate this easy, delicious cold pasta dish that called for ingredients nearly everyone enjoys: cheese tortellini, cherry (or grape) tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, pepperoni, Caesar salad dressing. (Are you drooling yet?)
Judging from my ceramic casserole dish at the end of our dinner, the recipe was devoured by many. Only a few tomatoes and slivers of basil remained.
As you’ll read in the following recipe, many of the ingredients could be substituted for your family favorites: another blend of cheese, red peppers, diced ham.
Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad
1 (20-ounce) package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup of fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 cup of pepperoni, chopped
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
2/3 cup Caesar salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the cheese tortellini according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again. Pat the pasta dry and allow it to cool completely. Transfer the cooked tortellini to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Toss well. Garnish with fresh basil. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
Editor’s note: Recipe courtesy of Dream Home Cooking Girl.