Wednesday, August 31, 2011

(cold) Salad Days

OK, I'm still not out of the weeds yet with work and life but I wanted to get a quickie in before summer unofficially ends. Cold salads are a staple for cookouts, BBQ's, and picnics alike. There are so many variations on potato and pasta salads it's mind boggling. Here is one I like because it comes together quickly and has only 3 ingredients. This is my version of tortellini salad


1 8.8 oz package dry tortellini (I'm using Ronzoni 3 cheese tortellini)- Your can use fresh or refrigerated but make sure you still boil it. Uncooked refrigerated ends up too al dente

8 oz creamy dressing- I like lite creamy parmesan

1/4 cup shredded carrot

Step 1- Boil the pasta according to the package- It will likely say 11-13 minutes but I'm telling you to check it a around 8 minutes. We are looking for super al dente. If you over cook it it will fall apart when adding the dressing. Drain it and let it cool completely (refrigerate it if needed)

Step 2- Shred a carrot with a box grater to get approximately 1/4 cup of carrot. It adds to the taste and a textural crunch to the pasta

Step 3- Add the dressing and carrot to the cooled pasta. Mix thoroughly with a spatula to distribute evenly. Refrigerate for at least an hour and ideally 3 plus hours to let the flavors meld.

And that's it. The cold, cheesy tortellini and the crunchy, sweet carrots offset perfectly by the creamy, tangy dressing. Because we're using dry pasta and salad dressing it's primary ingredients are something you can always have in the pantry so, um, no excuses

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