Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

Tortellini and Asparagus Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad is both hearty and refreshing, making it a great vegetarian option during the summer. It is important to keep the pasta salad cold until served. For picnics, we recommend packing items in lightweight individual serving containers and keeping them in an insulated ice chest until it's time to enjoy them.

Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Serves 8-10

Fresh Tortellini is available with a variety of fillings in the refrigerated section at your local market.  

6 T extra virgin olive oil

½ cup fresh basil leaves

3 T lemon juice

1 shallot minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper

1 pound asparagus, (tough ends trimmed

and sliced on the bias)

(2) 9 oz packages of fresh cheese tortellini 

¼ cup pine nuts

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup grated parmesan cheese 

Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the entire salad.

Bring four quarts of water to a boil with 1T  salt.

Cook the asparagus in boiling water for three minutes for refrigerated pasta, remove using a slotted spoon and rinse under cool water.  If you use dried pasta, follow package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl with dressing.  Using the same pot of boiling water, cook the tortellini following the package directions. Drain the tortellini thoroughly and add to the large bowl. Refrigerate until cooled, about thirty minutes.  Add tomatoes, and parmesan.  Just before serving toast pine nuts in a skillet for five minutes until golden and fragrant. Sprinkle on top just before serving.  If traveling with the salad, take the toasted pine nuts in a jar to add before serving.