This Easy Italian Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad 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 , 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 do. So you may not want to order it that way in Italy. Wink, wink!
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. Only a few of those are included 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. People prefer to make pasta salad because it takes less time. This Antipasto Tortellini side dish is a nice alternative to the same old same old. If your guests like Italian food, they are sure to like this Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad side dish.
Making the Easy Italian Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad
This recipe is so easy to make, especially if you use jarred roasted peppers although I recommend making them. Simply cook the tortellini according to package directions and drain. Add the jarred artichoke hearts with some brine, roasted red peppers, black sliced olives and some seasonings. It is really simple and tastes delicious.
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. Fresh flat leaf parsley gives it a nice flavor too.
If you are looking for more than ordinary pasta salad give this recipe a try. Making the red roasted peppers yourself will give this recipe a fresh European feel. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser! You can’t go wrong with pasta filled cheese and antipasto favorites!
- 2- 14 oz bags frozen tri-color 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.