spinach & artichoke tortellini salad

Is it just me or are those packages of freshly prepared tortellini that you get at the supermarket in those “Dinner for two for a Fiver” scenarios, those packages which are specifically designed to serve two… woefully inadequate at serving two? It’s just… when I eat a pasta dish, I really want a big steaming bowl of it to dig into.

But for some reason, filled pasta is universally under-portioned. In a restaurant, you will receive at least 50% less in volume if you opt for the ravioli or the tortellini or the mezzaluna- even when there is no sauce! Even when there’s just a little bit of butter and sage. The person with the carbonara gets twice as much pasta and cream! Why? WHYYY?

Ahem. Sorry.

So here we go. When you have a package of tortellini that fails to serve two, you need a side dish. In this case, it was a salad. But instead of making tortellini and a salad, I decide to give tortellini salad a try. And what a great idea this was. I came out of this feeling just as satisfied as if it were all pasta. Serving it while the tortellini is still warm, and drenched in a herby Italian dressing, keeps it filling and interesting. Some garlic bread on the side would have made this absolute perfection.

spinach & artichoke tortellini salad
 
Ingredients
  • Italian Dressing Ingredients...
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 2 tblsps red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60mls) each of extra virgin olive oil and something more mild (or just use ½ cup of plain olive oil)
  • 2 Tblsps of fresh minced basil
  • 1 Tblsps fresh minced parsley
  • ¼ each of dried marjoram and dried oregano
  • Salad Ingredients...
  • 1 250g pack of freshly prepared spinach and ricotta tortellini
  • A few handfuls of fresh spinach, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can artichokes, rinsed and chopped
  • A couple large tomatoes, chopped
  • A couple of handfuls of black olives
  • About a quarter of a small red onion, minced
Instructions
  1. Prepare your dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in container and shaking together, or use an emulsifying blade and whizz it through a food processor.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl, then toss most of the dressing through but reserve about half a cups worth.
  3. Cook tortellini according to package instructions- drain, put back in the pan and add the remaining dressing. Toss together before adding the tortellini to the salad.
Notes
Amounts here are extremely flexible- keep the balance as you like it.

Sources: The dressing is based on Martha Stewart’s Fresh Italian Dressing.

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