Asparagus and tortellini salad

This recipe is a different kind of pasta salad, featuring asparagus, yellow pepper, and tortellini with a lemony dressing. It comes from the ever trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 18 to 22 oz refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • about 1 pound of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions

First, cook the tortellini according to package directions – if it’s refrigerated pasta then it will cook very quickly.

During the last couple minutes of cooking, add the asparagus and pepper.

Drain the tortellini and vegetables. Rinse with cold water, then drain again.

Combine the lemon peel, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, sugar, salt, and garlic together in a bowl, mixing well.

The dressing looked pretty bland, so here’s a pretty picture of the lemon zest.

In a very large bowl, toss the tortellini mixture with the dressing, again mixing well.

At this point, cover the dish and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

In the meantime, you can toast your almonds – remember to do so prior to chopping them. I toasted at 350 degrees F for about 7 minutes. You want to watch closely so it doesn’t burn, and take it out when it smells nice and nutty.

I put the almonds in the Ninja chopper and got them nice and fine – larger chunks cut with a knife would certainly do too.

Just before serving, add the almonds, Parmesan cheese, and green onions, tossing to coat.

Makes 10 side dish servings.

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