I like to cook almost as well as anyone you know, but I also enjoy days when dinner is done and in the fridge, ready to go — especially come summer. (Though I’d admit real summer has yet to arrive in Colorado–no complaints.) Instead of turning on the stove, I can crawl up into my comfy reading chair with its humongous hassock, fall into my latest mystery or sleazy novel, and sip something very, very cold indeed. Typically, and you know this, it’s a pot of soup that has me all comfortably cozy-lazy with the latest Ruth Galloway (Elly Griffiths) or Louise Penny’s most recent Gamache thriller. But recently I’ve discovered a nice stash of protein heavy pasta salad will do the trick just as well. I like to bring a mammoth, heavenly pasta salad to a potluck or cookout (a great one-dish side) or on a road trip, but come hot weather, it’s happy at home right in my kitchen fridge just waiting for me to get hungry. With a little extra meat, cheese, beans, or fish, my salad feels perfect for dinner and leftovers are then easy offerings for lunch. Did I mention they’re whole meal deals? Nothing else is needed. Well, wine.Continue reading
As summer wanes –– it was 50 degrees F this morning when I got up — the vegetables come in huge, lovely fragrant warm piles and a fresh, toothsome pasta salad feels perfect for supper in the lingering heat. No muss, no fuss, with fresh pasta that cooks in just two minutes; dinner is on the table faster than you can make the basil vinaigrette (thanks to David Lebovitz–scroll down for more) that simply makes this meal. Continue reading
Summer comes and this tortellini salad comes with it. Just ask my family.
Full of tender cheese-filled tortellini and lots of chunky vegetables, it’s held together with a brisk mustard vinaigrette and lots of thin slices of sopressata or hard salami. If I’m going to a family event or a church picnic, I make a big bowl of this salad and bring it along. In Minnesota, it goes in the cooler and makes its way up north to celebrate Joe’s and Olivia’s birthdays. The original recipe was, I think, from the COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE years ago, but it has changed quite a bit over time.
|I missed Olivia’s birthday this year, but made the salad anyway. See you soon, I hope!|
Here in Colorado, it travels up I-25 to Denver for a family afternoon by the pool after a visit to a museum.
This year, Bill made a big hunk of brisket he smoked overnight. Sean brewed some beer and I made (of course) the tortellini salad. Occasionally it morphs just a bit; originally it didn’t have many vegetables. I had to amend that. The resulting salad is fine for a whole meal, but it’s also a total one-dish side for any barbequed meat. You know how pasta salad can be pale, insipid, and less than interesting? Perhaps only filling? Easily left on the plate at picnics? That is what this pasta salad is not.
|Nope, we don’t want to get out of the pool. Even for lunch.|
|This is either Cosmo or Gizmo tending bar. Whichever one, he got no tortellini salad.|
|Aunt Carolyn relaxing after lunch.|
Sing a new song; make an old tortellini salad,