Tortellini Salad With Asparagus and Basil Dressing

READY IN: 50mins




  • Step 1: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Line a baking sheet with paper towels or lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter.
  • Step 2: Trim 1 inch from the ends of the asparagus stalks. If some of the stalks are much thicker than a pencil, use a vegetable peeler to remove the woody exterior from the bottom half of each one. Cut the stalks and spears into 1-inch lengths.
  • Step 3: Add the asparagus to the boiling water; cook until crisp-tender and a more vivid shade of green, about 2 minutes; do not drain the water. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the asparagus to the ice-water bath until cooled. Spread the asparagus on the baking sheet or kitchen towel to dry.
  • Step 4: Return the pot of water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook, stirring often, until tender, according to the package directions. Drain the tortellini, rinse it with cold water, and drain again, leaving it slightly wet.
  • Step 5: While the tortellini are cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes, shaking the pan to avoid scorching, until fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely.
  • Step 6: Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic and the 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a serving bowl. Add the cooked tortellini and tomatoes, tossing to incorporate, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Step 7: Chop the basil leaves and add them to the+ bowl, along with the asparagus, Parm and the toasted pine nuts. Taste, add more salt and pepper as needed, and serve.