Tortellini Pasta Salad with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Tomatoes Recipe
This is a hearty pasta salad with a bright, fresh colors and flavors.
- 2/3 cup pure olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
- 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup fresh ground Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini
- 1 cup basil pesto
- 1/4 cup fresh ground parmesan cheese
- 1 cup small, multi-colored cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 shallot, chopped fine
- 1 tsp. chili flakes
- 1/2 cup yellow or orange bell pepper, diced small
- 1/3 cup frozen baby peas
- 1 cup baby spinach, roughly torn by hand
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 4 oz. firm goat cheese, crumbled
Preparation For Pesto:
- Place the pure olive oil and then the remaining ingredients, except the extra virgin olive oil, in the cup of a blender.
- Pulse the blender on and off to blend the ingredients.
- Once combined, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and pulse a few more times.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- The pesto should be smooth but with some small bits still in it.
Preparation For Pasta Salad:
- Cook the tortellini in rapidly boiling water until they float to the top and are cooked, but not too soft.
- Quickly drain the tortellini in a strainer and rinse with cold water for just a minute or so to stop the cooking.
- Shake strainer to drain the pasta well and then place pasta in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the pesto over the tortellini and toss well to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the goat cheese, and mix gently to combine.
- Adjust the seasoning as needed and then top with the crumbled goat cheese.
- This salad can be served cold or at room temperature.