I Made It!
Under another challenge from Twitter, something that can stand on its own, or work as a side dish for dinner or a picnic, or any summer occasion:
a tortellini salad. The original request specifically mentioned meat to satisfy the requester’s hungry sons, but nothing most of the “meaty” ones don’t allow the pasta to come to the fore. But, I figured, boys like pizza, no? So I tried to go that angle.
And really this is all dead simple. Start with a 12oz bag of Barilla’s dried three-cheese tortellini. Bring three quarts of water to a full, rolling boil and cook the tortellini as directed for about ten or eleven minutes. While that goes, take about a quarter pound of pepperoni or other hard, cured Italian salami. Quarter it lengthwise and cut into thick chunks. Dice up six ounces of fresh mozzarella about the same size as the pepperoni. Drain and chop half of a ten-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drain a two-ounce can of sliced olives, and slice up one and a half green onions. Put this all into a bowl along with the tortellini once it’s been drained and run under cold water.
In a small bowl, whisk up a quick Italian vinaigrette with a quarter-cup of extra-virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, a tablespoon and a quarter of a good cooking Balsamic vinegar, a quarter-teaspoon oregano, a quarter-teaspoon basil, an eighth-teaspoon thyme, and an eighth-teaspoon garlic powder. Toss the tortellini and such with the vinaigrette and serve immediately or chilled.