Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mediterranean Pasta Salad



Every other weekend or so Glenn and I try to drop the kids off and go out. Sometimes we like to have a nice night of dinner and a movie, other times we're just happy to go grocery shopping together, as long as it's just the two of us.

Before we dropped the kids off, I threw this salad together for the kids. We were planning on eating out, so we didn't want to eat any to ruin our appetites. The kids weren't too crazy about it, but Glenn and I couldn't stop picking at it. I don't think either of us wanted to admit it, but we both would have been happy to stay home and eat this for dinner instead!

This is such a quick and easy salad, great for potlucks and picnics. It's chuck full of colorful, healthy veggies, and then rounded out by soft cheesy tortellini. It might not be the most "wintery" dish, but sometimes it's nice to have a little blast of summer during these cold months to give us a ray of hope!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Adapted by Fresh Food Fast by Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 9 oz package refrigerated rainbow three cheese tortellini
1 quart water
1/4 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
1/3 cup chopped red pepper, or roasted red pepper, depending on preference
1 ounce Pepper Jack cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
6 drained canned quartered artichoke hearts
8 grape tomatoes, or 3 seeded and diced tomatoes
8 black or kalamata olives
2 thin slices prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons light balsamic vinaigrette

Directions

1. Cook pasta in 1 quart boiling water 6 minutes. Add asparagus to boiling water, and cook 1 minute. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water until cooled. Drain.

2. While pasta and asparagus cook, combine bell pepper and next seven ingredients into large bowl. Add tortellini and asparagus; toss gently.

Serves 3: Serving size 1 1/3 cups

Per Serving: 304 cal, 16.2g fat, 29.7g carb, 11.2g prot, 2.2g fiber

22 comments:

Debbie said...

I absolutely LOVE that salad. It could not get more perfect for me. I'm keeping this recipe!

Mary said...

The colors in this salad are so bright. I know I'd really love this one. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Erica said...

mmmm a good pasta salad always reminds me of Summer! And the addition of Pepper Jack cheese is fabulous (one of my favorite cheeses). Beautiful work ;)

Liz said...

you had me at asparagus and artichokes!

Kim said...

Oh Date Night, how I treasure it! We do the same thing. Either dinner and a movie or a shopping trip without the kids.
This pasta salad sounds amazing and I can see how you almost ruined your appetite for dinner with it. I love all those ingredients. Plus, the tortellini are a really nice touch in place of plain pasta. Makes this that much more substantial. I have my eye on Cooking Light's Fresh Food Fast. Isn't it such a pretty book with lots of gorgeous pics?

Chow and Chatter said...

looks great me and my hubby need a date night pleased you and your hubby had a nice one :-)

Ann said...

he flavors and the colors of that salad are sooo appealing. Really delicious.

Reeni said...

This is like a fresh and colorful blast of summer! I love it - I think we could all use a delicious bowl of pasta and vegetables prepared like this right about now. This would make me perfectly happy too!

Pam said...

Mmm. I love this salad and think the addition of asparagus is a great idea.

Barbara said...

Simple salads like this one are fabulous, Teresa. I love the colors and freshness...good no matter the weather!

Cathy said...

Yum, this is just the kind of recipe that I'm looking for this month. It's easy to eat light with a delicious dish like this.

Judy said...

Hi Teresa,hope everything is well with you. I love the rainbow tortellini and this is a great way to use them. Can't wait to try it.

The Food Hunter said...

This salad looks very refreshing..exactly what I'm looking for after all the heavy holiday food I ate.

Val said...

Mediterranean flavors are my all time favorite. I could eat greek salads daily and have, hehe. Your salad looks amazing.

JG said...

What colorful veggies to enjoy on a winter evening! Asparagus is a favorite.
~Judy

Burp and Slurp~! said...

How can you say no to cheese, artichokes, and prosciutto all in one dish!!! I usually like to eat my pasta hot, but I'll make an exception for this one...

theUngourmet said...

This salad could brighten the blah-est winter day! I've been searching for something fun to make for dinner. I'll make this over the weekend. Thanks! ;)

Kaitlin said...

Looks amazing! I just love pasta salad, the tortellini looks SO good in it!

Joanne said...

I say tortellini could and SHOULD be eaten year round! Especially in salad form. Love this!

Lisa said...

What a colorful salad. I like how you used tortellini for more flavor instead of the other types of pasta.

Brownieville Girl said...

Hope your meal out was half as good as your salad!

The Food Hunter said...

this salad looks so fresh and delicious.