Tortellini Pasta Salad

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A few weeks back my roomies and I hosted a house-warming BBQ.  For this BBQ, I was determined to enjoy my company and not spend the entire event chained to the stove or oven, surrounded by a mountain of dishes, with 15 different kitchen timers and microwave buzzers going off at the same time.  Somehow I do it to myself every time… I just LOVE to feed people, it’s really a sickness, but I just can’t help myself.

In an effort to keep my crazy kitchen obsession in check, we made the BBQ a potluck, determined burgers and hotdogs would be the main entrée, and I was assigned to making ONLY a pasta salad.  Simple enough right?  Ha.  Well, it should have been.  I could have made my mother’s simple pasta salad that has literally 5 ingredients and tastes like heaven, but that was too easy.  I have a food blog for crying out loud, that just wouldn’t be impressive enough.  So instead I concocted the pasta salad you’re about to see below… and if the gazillion ingredients weren’t enough to keep me busy, I also made quite a bit.  When I say I made quite a bit, what I really mean is that my largest pot wouldn’t hold all of this pasta salad and I had to resort to using a bucket… a bucket so large that it wouldn’t fit on my counter and I was forced to put it on the kitchen floor.  Alas, some people are just a lost cause.  Hi, my name is Elise and I’m a lost cause ;)

Tortellini Pasta Salad

 

Ingredients:

4 Ears Corn
1 Bunch Asparagus
2 Crowns Broccoli
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 Red Onion
1 Package Frozen Cheese Tortellini
1 Envelope Italian Dressing Mix
1/2 C. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 C. Olive Oil
1 Bunch Fresh Basil, 1/2 C. Chopped
3/4 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

 

 

Step 1: Convince your most beautiful friends to drag plastic lawn chairs into the kitchen and drink wine while you cook.  Instant audience.

 

 

 

Next, begin by prepping your veggies… this means, boil your corn!

 

 

 

 

And then comes the asparagus… blanche that lovely greenery.

 

 

 

 

Thought you were finished?  Nah, dirty up yet another pot by lightly steaming your broccoli.

 

 

 

 

While your veggies are getting warm and toasty, you can work on the dressing.  To pack a bit more punch, I make the dressing as specified on the packet, but omit the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shake, shake, shake it up! This has got to burn like… 4 calories per hour.

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll also need to shred your rotisserie chicken into bite sized, savory, yummy morsels.

 

 

 

And while the knife and cutting board are already in use, go ahead and cut up your veggies so they’re ready to  get added to the mix!

 

 

 

And then SINCE we’re keeping everything OOBER simple, and you’ve got a little mini sous chef in your back pocket, go ahead and chop up your red onion and basil.

 

 

Don’t forget about the leading actor in this side dish… your tortellini!  Boil that too… more dishes… more time spent cooking, more time promised doing dishes… seeing a pattern here?

 

 

 

If you’re not completely out-of-your-mind, like me, you should be able to combine your ingredients into one pot- add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper as well.

 

 

 

 

 

If you ARE completely insane like me, you may find yourself needing a large plastic bucket to combine your ingredients.  I wish I were joking.

 

 

 

 

 

Just a suggestion.

 

 

 

And that’s it, folks!

Mangia!

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