I forgot all about this yummy salad that I made this summer! Last year at my daughter's birthday party I made a tortellini salad that was a huge hit. So when her birthday came around and I was deciding what to feed the adults I thought, been there done that and wasn't going to make it again. But then came the requests and so how could I disappoint my guests? So I did a variation on the original, with a different dressing and using beautiful tender asparagus and my favorite slow roasted tomatoes and lots of fresh basil from the little basil plant I tenderly nurtured (read: drowned and sunburned but somehow managed to keep alive) this summer and it was as big of a hit as the first one. So, I guess it has been decided-forget about the birthday cake- tortellini salad at my daughter's birthday parties is the new tradition!
1 1/2 lbs of cheese tortellini, either fresh or frozen
1 recipe oven roasted tomatoes
1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into thirds
1/2 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the tortellini in salted water according to package directions. About a minute and a half before they are done add the asparagus to blanch. Drain the pasta well and transfer to a bowl. Mix the pasta with the tomatoes and basil and add the dressing while the pasta is still warm. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. If not serving immediately make sure to taste and re-season before serving.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together and pour over the salad.