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This pasta salad is the perfect way to take advantage of fresh ingredients from the garden.
There's nothing like summer tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, and fresh basil. Take advantage while you can.
It is easy, it is ready in 15 minutes, there is a lot of flavor and many contrasts in texture. The flavors and ingredients are similar to my recent Italian chicken pasta salad.
Al dente cheese tortellini, juicy tomatoes and corn, crispy cucumbers, creamy avocado, fragrant basil and salty Parmesan cheese. You could use another favorite crumbled cheese like feta, blue cheese, or cheddar cheese.
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Everything is mixed with any easy to beat dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and Italian seasoning. It is light enough to let the taste of fresh ingredients shine through.
It is healthy, vegetarian, perfect for busy nights, shared meals, picnics or parties. Makes a lot big enough so you can have some leftovers planned for work or school lunches.
Fresh Garden Tortellini Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is the perfect way to take advantage of fresh ingredients from the garden. It is easy, it is ready in 15 minutes, there is a lot of flavor and many contrasts in texture. Al dente cheese tortellini, juicy tomatoes and corn, crispy cucumbers, creamy avocado, fragrant basil and salty Parmesan cheese. Everything is mixed with any easy to beat dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and Italian seasoning. It is light enough to let the flavor of fresh ingredients shine through. It is healthy, vegetarian, perfect for busy nights, shared meals, picnics or parties. Makes a lot big enough so you can have some leftovers planned for work or school lunches.
- a 10-ounce package of cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced into small pieces
- 1 cup corn (can be used fresh or frozen that has been thawed)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, may be substituted)
- 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely placed in a measuring cup and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more, if desired (feta cheese, blue cheese, or your favorite grated or crumbled cheese may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup olive oil for sauce
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, drain and set aside. While the tortellini is cooking, prepare and chop the remaining ingredients.
- In a large bowl, add the avocado, corn, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and Parmesan cheese; set aside.
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice (grate lemon before squeezing), honey, Italian seasoning, lemon, salt, pepper, and mix. Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
- Add tortellini and stir gently to combine. Test and check the balance of the seasoning, making any necessary adjustments (plus Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, a little lemon juice, etc.) before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, keeping in mind that the avocado will rust over time. Serve leftovers cold or at room temperature.
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