a quick pasta salad for basil lovers
Cook your favorite dried cheese tortellini pasta until al dente--I use half of a super large package or a couple of small packages (approximately 500g dried). Drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking prepare the vinaigrette:
3 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP grainy mustard (or Dijon-i use grainy)
1 tsp honey
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic (i use 2 cloves)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil (Thai basil is wonderful)
Whisk all ingredients together except basil. Then add basil and whisk again.
Pour vinaigrette over slightly warm cheese tortellini pasta, toss to coat.
Add a few of your favorite fresh veggie add-ins--I use red onion + chopped red or yellow pepper.
Add some freshly grated pepper + freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
You can refrigerate the salad for several hours to allow the flavors to mingle. Best served at room temperature.
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of course there is a lot of room for improvisation...
i prefer a smaller tortellini as i find sometimes a larger size starts to "fall apart" when it has sat in the vinaigrette for more than a day.
If you love lemon-- before you squeeze your lemon juice for the vinaigrette, grate the zest and toss it in with your pasta when you add the other vegetables. It adds a nice fresh zingy flavor.
I also tend to be heavy handed with the basil--adding 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped basil to the vinaigrette. This will make your vinaigrette somewhat "thick" when you're whisking it.