This is a great party side dish! It is tummy filling and easy to prepare ahead. I served it at my husband’s birthday party using the Easy Roasted Red Peppers pictured below, made for the antipasto appetizer, which are very easy to make and taste much better than the jarred store bought kind. My husband and I love antipasto and so do most of our family and friends. Italians do not consider pasta a side dish as Americans may.
In America, pasta may be considered a main dish or a side dish depending on the menu or recipe ingredients. This Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad is a side dish. If you like Ricotta cheese, you are sure to like Tortellini.
If you are not familiar with antipasto, let me enlighten you. In Italy, it is referred to as an appetizer served before the pasta course. The antipasto Americans are most familiar with includes: prosciutto, salami or similar cured meat, fresh mozzarella cheese, assorted Italian cheeses such as, Provolone, Asiago, Parmesan, artichoke hearts, gardenia (pickled garden vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, beans) red roasted peppers, olives, etc. I just chose a few of these to include in this side dish.
I like to serve this Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad side dish at parties because it is a bit more filling and exciting than ordinary pasta salad. I am increasingly seeing pasta salad at parties in place of potato salad. I think this is because people prefer to make pasta salad because it is less time consuming to make so this Antipasto Tortellini side dish is a nice alternative. If your guests like Italian food, especially filled pasta, they are sure to like this Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad side dish.
I do not add a lot of olive oil in this recipe because the brine from the artichoke hearts and roasted red pepper juices give the pasta some extra dressing.
- 2- 14 oz bags frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 cup red roasted peppers or 8 oz. jar, lightly drained from brine
- 12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts with brine, cut into 1" pieces
- 4 oz can of sliced black olives, drained
- 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 oz of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs fresh parsley or 1 tsp of dried parsley
- Salt to taste
- Cook tortellini according to package directions and drain.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.