I don’t actually like pasta salad, but this is one of the best things I have ever eaten. I love making it for potluck dinners or barbecues, and I have been known to eat so much of it that I have little room for anything else.
This is the first time I have ever written down a recipe for our tortellini salad; usually, we just go out and get some of this and some of that and mix it all up. Doing it that way can get a little pricey, but it will stay good for about a week, and you can get a lot of mileage out of the leftovers.
- 1 large package of cheese tortellini, about 20 oz.
- 3 ““ 4 thick slices of provalone cheese*
- 2 ““ 3 thick slices of hard salami*
- 2 ““ 3 thick slices of pepperoni*
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced**
- 6 oz. black olives, sliced
- zesty Italian salad dressing to taste.
Cook tortellini according to the directions on the package, drain, and rinse with cold water. Chop meats and cheese to roughly the same size as the diced onion and pepper. Throw everything into a tupperware container with a lid, pour in about half a bottle of Italian dressing, close it up, and shake to mix.*** Chill for at least two hours and check to see if more dressing is needed. I always think I put in too much at first, but after it has had a chance to soak in, it needs more. Easily serves 8 ““ 10.
*We get the meats and cheeses from the deli and ask them for about an 1/8″ slice. It is darn good with the meats but, for you vegetarians, it is just as good with no meat and extra cheese.
**I prefer yellow peppers to the other colors, but the salad is darn tasty and really pretty if you use a combination of red, yellow, and orange. No green, though; they throw off the whole balance of flavor.
***You could toss everything gently with a wooden spoon, but it is more fun to shake it all up, and it doesn’t break the tortellini in the process.