Tortellini and Tomatoes Salad
Some years back paging the thin, worn pages of a bent magazine I came upon an appetizingly delight of a photo, something of a Tortellini with Tomatoes Salad then made a quick mental note on the colorfully combined ingredients perfect for many occasions ahead. That was many years ago with many preparations since.
One week, early on in the first fall collegiate sports season, of my youngest, Alex the Athlete, when fresh tomatoes were still plentiful and I was still learning the ropes and ins and outs of the weekly Team Family Tailgates after every match, I prepared this longtime crowd pleaser. It was an immediate Tailgate Winner!
That was four years ago now and last week I prepared my final Tortellini Salad with Tomato and Garlic Dressing for the Team Family Tailgate. Nothing remained but a couple bits of the rubbed tomatoes once dressing the dish.
I should like to share this recipe with those parents returning and future parents privileged enough to be a part of our team, including learning the ropes and the ins and outs on coordinating a fine Team Family Tailgate.
With Alex graduating after next semester, it will be the first time in about fifteen years that I will have a free weekend to go to a salon rather than a field or court event.
But then you never know when I will sometime again, some early fall, be making a return visit to a match and Team Family Tailgate, cheering the team, greeting old friends, meeting those new, alongside sharing an adorned tray of Tortellini and Tomatoes Salad. Go Team.
- For Preparing the Tortellini Salad:
- 2 10-12 ounce bags frozen tortellini, cooked in salted boiling water until just done, spread across a long baking sheet, tossed with a tablespoon of olive oil and a couple pinches of coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, not in oil, thinly sliced, then halved
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 16 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, quartered, sprinkled with a pinch each of salt and pepper
- 3 whole scallions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- For the Dressing:
- 6 medium size tomatoes, cored, cut in half, grated on a hand grater down to the skin, discard skin and transfer grated tomatoes to a mixing bowl
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Gently combine the cooled and oiled tortellini's with the sun dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and scallions
- Fold through the fresh herbs, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir, check seasoning, adjust to taste
- Prepare the Dressing: Scrape the grated tomatoes into a large glass mixing bowl then stir in the chopped garlic. Pour in the vinegar, then drizzle in the olive oil a little at a time whisking to incorporate with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, check seasoning, adjust to taste
- Assembly: Toss dressing with the Tortellini Salad ten minutes before serving, check seasoning and adjust to taste
For Tailgating: Cover the Tortellini Salad without the dressing until serving time then combine, check seasoning and adjust to taste
If dressed too far in advance the Tortellini will absorb the sauce and lose its flavor and color