Whoever thought to name something filled with mayo a “salad” really should be punished for that decision. It’s just wrong, and I hate how summer pasta salads have paid the price ever since.
If I had to pick a salad that epitomizes summer, it’s definitely, no questions asked, a caprese salad. Basil, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella… I just can’t get enough. I really didn’t think there was much out there that could make it any better than it already is, but then I got the idea to combine it with cheese tortellini for a mashup between the classic summer salad and the classic pasta salad. No mayo to be found, just a hint of crumbled bacon added to the mix. That’s an addition I can get behind.
Tortellini-bacon caprese salad recipe
The classic summer tomato and mozzarella salad gets combined with cheesy tortellini for a new spin on pasta salad.
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes
- 1 pound cheese tortellini
- 1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup small mozzarella balls, drained
- 4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy, chopped
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the tortellini, and cook according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and bacon.
- Drain the tortellini once cooked, and let it cool for a few minutes in the strainer. (Immediately adding it to the bowl will melt the mozzarella.)
- While the pasta cools, make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Add the cooled tortellini to the bowl, and toss it with the dressing until everything is well coated and combined.
- Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until serving.
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