Saturday, October 17, 2009
Tortellini Salad With Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This is a recipe I make a lot. It's very flexible; sometimes I use rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, sometimes oil-packed. Sometimes I throw in cooked chicken. I don't measure anything but the dressing ingredients. People always like it, and it's pretty easy. That's a winner in my book.
Most recently I made it to take to a double baby shower; it was for two co-workers who are due a day apart.
Tortellini Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Artichokes and Goat Cheese
8 sun-dried tomatoes (or 1/2 small jar oil-packed)
13 oz. or so dried (1 package Barilla family-sized) cheese or spinach-cheese dried tortellini
4 to 6 oz. cooked chicken, shredded (optional)
1 small jar artichoke hearts (marinated or not), drained and chopped
1 large handful fresh spinach, chopped or cut into chiffonade
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (from dairy case, not green can)
3 thin slices red onion, minced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 heaping tbsp. tomato paste
9 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 heaping tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and let cool (otherwise, if you add dressing while tortellini is warm, the dressing will be soaked up and salad won't be moist enough). If not using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrate by placing in ramekin, cover in water and nuke for 1 minute. Let cool enough to handle and chop or julienne. In serving bowl, combine cooled pasta, vegetables, cheeses and onion (if using).
To make vinaigrette, put dressing ingredients except for oil in blender or food processor. Puree. Add the oil in a thin stream with blender/processor running until emulsified and smooth. (You can also mince garlic and whisk it all, but this is faster and the dressing emulsifies better).
Combine enough dressing with salad ingredients to moisten, tossing to coat well. Chill. Let come to room temperature to serve. Use leftover dressing to remoisten as needed.