We Can’t Stop Making This Dreamy Pasta Salad
With plump and chewy cheese tortellini as its base, you already know this pasta salad is gonna be a hit. Toss sweet and chewy sun-dried tomatoes, fresh baby spinach, and a whole lot of shaved Parmesan into the mix, and this is sure to become a new family favorite.
In addition to being delicious, this pasta salad is extremely versatile, as all great pasta salads should be. It tastes great warm, room temperature, and straight from the fridge. (In fact, the tomatoes get chewier and even more flavorful as they sit, soaking up more of the vinaigrette’s flavor.) Plus, you can serve it alongside a protein or push it into the starring role itself.
This Pasta Salad Is Whatever You Want It to Be
Right now, in the heart of potluck and cookout season, this recipe functions best as a crowd-pleasing side. It pairs with just about everything, from grilled meat to slaws and all that’s in between. It’s also a dream picnic salad, and the perfect excuse to gather your friends and head outside right now.
That’s only the beginning of this pasta salad’s possibilities, though. The salad holds up well for days, so it can (and should) be worked into your meal prep, too. I love packing it up for lunch or serving up a bowl for dinner at the end of a long day.
Tuscan Tortellini Salad with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
small garlic clove
- 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (9-ounce) packages
fresh cheese tortellini, or 1 (16 to 19-ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 (7-ounce) jar
sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 3 ounces
baby spinach (about 3 packed cups)
- 2 ounces
shaved Parmesan cheese (about 2/3 cup)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, grate or mince 1 small garlic clove. Place in a large bowl, add the 3 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and whisk to combine. Drain the 7-ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chop, and add to the dressing.
Boil the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and run briefly under cool water to cool the tortellini. Drain well again.
Transfer to the bowl of dressing and toss to combine. Let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld. Meanwhile, thinly shave the 2 ounces Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler (about 2/3 cup).
Stir the 3 ounces baby spinach into the pasta salad until it starts to wilt. Gently fold in the shaved Parmesan. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Make ahead: The pasta salad can be made a day ahead without the spinach and Parmesan and refrigerated overnight. Stir in the spinach and let the salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, then fold in the Parmesan.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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