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Not Your Average Pasta Salad Recipe (It’s Way Better)

Whew, Labor Day is already here and gone? How did that happen? I already started turning on my oven, as the wee ones and I made cherry granola and chocolate chip cookies this morning. But since you’ve seen those recipes already, I’m headed for something else I made this weekend.

Back to school has been busy, but we’re still trying to eat at home and find things that will make good leftovers, especially since my husband is a little particular about them (he refused to eat the leftover quinoa for lunch today, for example). This is one of my favorites though, since it comes together so easily but doesn’t really taste like you’re cheating!

Not Your Average Pasta Salad

20 oz frozen (or refrigerated) three cheese tortellini
1 bunch basil
3/4 c olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 c Parmesan, grated (no green cans please)
1 c toasted pine nuts (separated)
1 c Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3/4 c sundried tomatoes, chopped
14 oz jar artichokes, chopped
1/3 c red onion, minced

Start by making your pesto (yum!). Wash and dry the basil, then rip off the thick stems and place them in the Cuisenart with the garlic. Pulse to chop. Add 1/2 c of the pine nuts and pulse until you have a lovely green mass. Turn it on again, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Very slowly. Once it’s emulsified, add the Parmesan and mix to blend. Then, set the pesto aside.

Prepare the tortellini according to the package directions, making sure that you do not overcook it. You want it al dente so it absorbs the remaining flavors. While the tortellini is cooking, chop the onion, and prepare the remaining items — chopping the olives, tomatoes, and artichokes.

While the tortellini is still hot (don’t rinse it once you drain it!), add the pesto and vegetables, as well as the remaining 1/2 c of pine nuts. This is a very forgiving recipe, so add more or less of the various ingredients as you desire. Refrigerate overnight before serving.


And check out more great recipes with Lisa @ Blessed By Grace with her Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

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  1. Sherry says:

    Oooh, this sounds delish! 😀

  2. Ave says:

    I love pasta salads! Your recipe sounds good!

  3. Jillian Livingston says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I am determined to mix it up this year with delicious dinners…and lunches for my family.

    Don't ask how I stumbled upon you because I can't backtrack but I enjoyed your website.

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