Wednesday, 20 February 2013
spinach & artichoke tortellini salad
Is it just me or are those packages of freshly prepared tortellini that you get at the supermarket in those "Dinner for two for a Fiver" scenarios, those packages which are specifically designed to serve two... woefully inadequate at serving two?
It's just... when I eat a pasta dish, I really want a big steaming bowl of it to dig into. But for some reason, filled pasta is universally under-portioned. In a restaurant, you will receive at least 50% less in volume if you opt for the ravioli or the tortellini or the mezzaluna- even when there is no sauce! Even when there's just a little bit of butter and sage. The person with the carbonara gets twice as much pasta and cream! Why? WHYYY?
So here we go. When you have a package of tortellini that fails to serve two, you need a side dish. In this case, it was a salad. But instead of making tortellini and a salad, I decide to give tortellini salad a try. And what a great idea this was. I came out of this feeling just as satisfied as if it were all pasta. Serving it while the tortellini is still warm, and drenched in a herby Italian dressing, keeps it filling and interesting.
Some garlic bread on the side would have made this absolute perfection.
The dressing is based on Martha Stewart's Fresh Italian Dressing.
Amounts here are extremely flexible- keep the balance as you like it.
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried mustard powder
2 tblsps red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60mls) each of extra virgin olive oil and something more mild (or just use 1/2 cup of plain olive oil)
2 Tblsps of fresh minced basil
1 Tblsps fresh minced parsley
1/4 each of dried marjoram and dried oregano
1 250g pack of freshly prepared spinach and ricotta tortellini
A few handfuls of fresh spinach, rinsed and drained
1 can artichokes, rinsed and chopped
A couple large tomatoes, chopped
A couple of handfuls of black olives
About a quarter of a small red onion, minced
1. Prepare your dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in container and shaking together, or use an emulsifying blade and whizz it through a food processor.
2. Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl, then toss most of the dressing through but reserve about half a cups worth.
3. Cook tortellini according to package instructions- drain, put back in the pan and add the remaining dressing. Toss together before adding the tortellini to the salad.