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This is a slightly different pasta salad that will serve a crowd! When I make this, I usually "wing it", the list of ingredients and quantities are only a guide (its my family's preference). Please feel free to adapt it to your own personal taste...leave out what you don't like, add what you do like and adjust the amounts accordingly. Experiment and have fun making it!
- 1 (1 lb) packagefrozen tri-colored cheese tortellini
- 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 1 can cannellini beans or 1 can pink beans or 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 lb button mushrooms or 1 lb baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 bunch scallion, sliced
- 1 small red onion, cut into rings
- 2 -4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
- 4 -6 fresh roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced
- 1 (10 ounce) packagefrozen italian green beans, thawed and drained (or fresh ones, blanched)
- 2 roasted bell peppers, sliced or diced
- 1 can black pitted olive, drained
- 1 jar stuffed Spanish olives, drained
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 1 -2 large fresh sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups broccoli florets (raw or blanched)
- 1 1⁄2 cups cauliflower florets (raw or blanched)
- 5 -10 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
- 2 cups diced mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups sharp provolone cheese, cut into thin sticks (or your favorite sharp cheese)
- 2 -3 cups pepperoni or 2 -3 cups genoa salami, cut into chunks (or both)
- 2 -4 pepperoncini peppers, seeded and sliced (Italian vinegar peppers)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
- 2 -3 cups of your favorite Italian salad dressing
- grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese
- italian seasoning
- Combine artichoke hearts, mushrooms, cannelli beans, black beans, green beans, sun dried tomatoes and about 1 cup of dressing in a large sized bowl, toss well, cover bowl and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- In a large pot, boil water for tortellini and cook according to package directions, do not overcook them.
- While pasta is cooking, chop, seed and drain all vegetables, as indicated.
- Drain cooked tortellini and rinse under cold water until pasta is cool.
- Place pasta in a large bowl, and toss with enough dressing to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate pasta.
- Continue preparing the remaining vegetables, cheeses and meats.
- When all is prepared, mix marinated vegetable/bean mixture and dressing into the pasta and toss to combine all.
- Add everything else except fresh tomatoes and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
- Just before serving, add fresh tomatoes and toss to mix.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference, add additional dressing if salad seems dry.