Everyone has a few tried and true favorite BBQ dishes they cook up for a party or bring to share. My tortellini salad is one of my Barbecue staples.
Before I share the recipe, I want to discuss pasta salad fails. These are, in my opinion, common pasta salad mistakes:
- Pasta is way too al dente. It’s one thing if it’s being served hot and will cook to perfection once sauce is added. It’s a whole other story to under cook. Hint: Pasta should not be crunchy.
- Pasta is too soft: Pasta shouldn’t be mushy, it should be firm. When boiling pasta remove when it just starts floating to the surface. For a pasta salad, rinse with cold water to stop cooking. It should never bloat to three times its original size.
- Using cheap pasta: I’m a frugal gal, but I also believe we get what we pay for. Cheap pasta yields cheap results. If using tortelli or ravioli take care to buy a premium brand. Fresh pasta is the best.
- Mayonnaise: Mixing pasta with mayonnaise does not a pasta salad make. It’s just fattening, artery clogging, mayonaisy pasta that you’ll have to throw away after an hour of leaving out anyway. Use your imagination and stop mixing stuff with mayo and calling it salad.
So, keeping this in mind, let’s move along to the recipe. Note that I don’t have amounts listed – that’s because it’s a matter of preference. Some folks like more veg and less tortellini and some want subtlety. In any event, it’s in the eye of the beholder.
- Tortellini - For this one I used a mushroom tortellini which added a whole other level of yumminess.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Avocado - Cubed
- Artichoke hearts
- Black Olives
- Chopped garlic
- Mozzarella - If you didn't splurge for the premium mozzarella, then you may as well just use Velveeta. Fresh, homemade is the best.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cook pasta and toss with EVOO so it doesn't stick together. Add the rest of the good stuff and salt and pepper to taste. Chill, baby, chill.
Will you be trying this recipe? Tell us what you think – especially let us know what kind of modifications you made.
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