Recipe - Tortellini Salad

My mom bought a whole bunch of tortellini from Costco without a clue on what to do with it. She deferred to me or rather told me that she "bought them for" me even though I wasn't particularly interested. It's okay - I chided her for her choice in food after she has been constantly telling me to stop eating cheese (which I don't eat much of anyway...). So when July 4th came around, I decided to whip up a tortellini salad with our massive amounts of the 7-cheese stuffed pasta to "get rid of it" aka make something delicious enough for my trash can of a teenage brother to eat.

Step 1: Ingredients (serving size: 8-10 portions)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp spicy Italian herb seasoning, ground*
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can medium pitted black olives, sliced (by you)
  • 1 pkg cheese tortellini, 24 oz.
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced

*Note: I have a spicy Italian herb blend made up of red chili pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, black peppercorn, and rock salt that are all in a grinder.

Step 2: Preparing the ingredients
Boil water in a large pot and cook tortellini. Drain and set aside to cool. While waiting for water to boil, dice your bell peppers and tomatoes. I note to slice the olives yourself out of preference - I prefer knowing that less of my olive slices' surface area has been exposed to the stored brine. Quarter the artichoke hearts or make smaller as preferred.

Step 3: Mixing the ingredients
Mix together all your cut vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add in lemon juice before the tortellini (when cooled). Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar in increments, mixing and tasting (I recommended 2 tbsps of each but this was off of my eyeballing my additions). Lastly, mix in the ground spicy Italian herb seasoning. I had mentioned salt and pepper before the tortellini because there is more salt and pepper in this seasoning which will help offset all the pasta in your bowl.

Step 4: Finishing
When finished with mixing, refrigerate for 2 hours or more. It tastes better when cold (and after sitting for a little while)! When ready to serve, toss with Parmesan cheese and enjoy.