Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

 

Tortellini is one of my favorite types of pasta so when I found this recipe, I was very excited to try it.  Also, I don’t really like pasta salads that are “mayonaisey” so this combination of ingredients was particularly alluring.  It tasted so fresh!  So many wonderful textures and flavors.  The tartness of the artichoke hearts was balanced so nicely by the saltiness of the prosciutto filled tortellini.  The sweet onions provided a satisfying crunch.   Every bite was colorful and enjoyable.  I plan to make this one again and again. 

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad:

  • 1 package fresh Buitoni chicken prosciutto tortellini
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach (chopped)
  • 1 15-oz can artichoke hearts in water (drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A few splashes of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • handful sun-dried tomatoes (chopped coarsely)

recipe notes: the recipe called for 1 chopped roasted red pepper, which I omitted.  I also omitted lemon zest and instead used only fresh lemon juice.  And I tripled this recipe to get the quantity shown in the photo.

Boil the pasta in salted water.  Cook tortellini for 3-4 minutes.  (I was so worried about over cooking these little pouches of deliciousness, that I actually undercooked them.  More on that later.)  Drain then cool pasta by spreading across a cookie sheet in a single layer.

Coarsely chop baby spinach.  Combine with artichoke and red onion.  Chop garlic then add salt to it and mash with the back of a spoon to create a paste.  In a small bowl combine the garlic and salt paste with the lemon juice.  Add the vinegar.  Whisk in oil, thyme and fresh cracked black pepper.  Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to the salad.  Dress the salad and gently toss.

So, I did under cook the pasta, just a bit.  Before storing it, I added some olive oil and chicken broth so the next day, the leftover pasta had obsorbed more of the dressing and was just fine. 

I highly recommend this dish as a fresh alternative to boring colorless, traditional, creamy salads.

Recipe adapted from recipe by Rachael Ray found here on foodnetwork.com

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