Monday, January 01, 2007

Warm Tortellini and Cherry Tomato Salad

Today we drove home from Connecticut (where both of our families live). Luckily there was NO traffic, so we made it home in 4 1/2 hours! But we were still feeling pretty bleh after all the travel, so I wasn't in the mood to make something fancy for dinner. After a quick trip to the grocery store for food for the week, I whipped together this recipe from Cooking Light's January 2005 issue. It was extremely easy and pretty good. Not fantastic. I probably wouldn't make it again, but we enjoyed it for dinner tonight. It's definitely good for a quick weeknight meal.

I used marinated artichoke hearts instead of plain, which was a mistake on my part. Don't do that, it doesn't taste very good. Just buy the regular artichoke hearts. I also omitted the arugula (couldn't find any) and subbed dried basil for fresh, because I'm cheap.

Warm Tortellini and Cherry Tomato Salad
Extravirgin olive oil and two kinds of vinegar make an easy, classic dressing for this pasta-and-vegetable salad. You can also try this with chicken or mushroom tortellini or cheese ravioli.

2 (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups (1 1/2-inch-long) slices fresh asparagus (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups trimmed arugula
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup (3 ounces) pregrated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus to pasta during last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain.

While pasta cooks, combine vinegars, oil, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pasta mixture, arugula, and remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Yield: 6 servings

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