Warm Basil Tortellini Salad
1 9-oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup bottled artichoke hearts, cut into bite sizes
2-3 small red or orange sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup low fat Italian salad dressing
3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions: Drain pasta.
2. In a medium sized sauce pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, sweet peppers, carrots, and artichoke hearts and stir frequently until the garlic starts to brown. Add the Italian dressing, the basil, and milk and stir until the sauce almost comes to boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add black pepper and stir.
3. In a large bowl, add the cooked, warm pasta and broccoli. Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture and stir gently to coat. Add the fresh tomatoes and stir until well mixed.
4. Before serving, you may add more milk to moisten.
-You may add 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons pine nuts to the pasta salad.
-For cold tortellini salad, you may skip all the heating instructions and use raw vegetables. I had the left-over salad the next day and it was also very delicious when it was cold. :)