Tortellini Bocconcini Insalata di Pasta. Has a nice Italian ring to it, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled, this is not an authentic Italian recipe, I just like the way that title sounds when I say it with a thick Italian accent. Go ahead, try it. Next, make this pasta salad, and eat it for dinner, or serve it at your next shindig, which is what I did. Both of those things. I recently threw a bubble themed party and all the foods served had to be bubble shaped, i.e. spherical. I know, I know, tortellini isn’t spherical, but it is round and full of cheese, so I let it slide. I think it has become clear what sort of relationship I have with cheese. This tortellini pasta salad is no different. Pasta. Cheese. Yum. The end.
Growing up, I didn’t have a taste for much of anything other than pasta with just some melted butter. I would go to family birthdays or grown up baby showers with my mom and there would inevitably be pasta salad. I would take a big scoop because it was pasta! The only thing I enjoyed. I would dig in and take my first bite to find that my beloved pasta was massacred by slimy, drippy, salad dressing. Ew. Why would anyone pour a bottle of italian salad dressing over a perfectly good bowl of plain pasta? This pasta salad is for the picky kid in me! And all the other picky kids attending a birthday or other party in search of some yummy food. Cheese-filled tortellini is easy to find in the local market, takes just a few minutes to cook, and is filled with cheese! As if that isn’t cheesy enough, we’re gonna go ahead and put some grated cheddar cheese on top, and then throw in some mozzarella balls for good measure. Instead of bottled Italian dressing, we make our own simple vinaigrette to boost the flavor just a bit. The olives? Well, they’re spherical, to fit with the bubble theme, and also I love me some olives.
- 1 pound (about 3 cups) cheese tortellini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces (1 heaping cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 6-ounce can whole black olives, drained
- 1 8-ounce package (about 1 cup) bocconcini or ciliegine mozzarella balls
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
- Mix the vinaigrette into the pasta and stir to coat well. Allow the pasta to cool completely.
- Add the cheddar cheese, olives, and mozzarella balls to the cooled pasta, and stir to mix well.