Our favorite Tortellini and Broccoli Salad is tossed with extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh steamed broccoli and tortellini pasta. This is a savory pasta salad that is best served warm or at room temperature and guarantees to be big on flavor and very satisfying.
The key to our tortellini and broccoli salad is in the marinade, or to us, we like to call it, “the sauce!” The flavors are intensified with chopped sundried tomatoes, fresh minced garlic and red pepper flakes (to add in some heat) as it sits and marinates in extra virgin olive oil for a while( in order for it to work its magic!). This will infuse all the flavors into the olive oil. Once the tortellini and broccoli are done cooking, everything is gently tossed together and served warm or at room temperature. So flavorful! It’s a perfect dish every time. Everyone usually asks for more!
Just the other day, my daughter asked me when am I going to make this for her again?
This simple sauce needs NO cooking at all, and it can be made in advance. Using fresh ingredients is what makes this salad very healthy!
We recommend using the highest quality of extra-virgin olive oil; it makes a huge difference in the taste. Also, you can adjust the amount of flavor added into this pasta salad to your liking.
One thing we do know from experience, is whether you use frozen or fresh tortellini, they both cook up very quickly. At first, when you add them to the boiling water, they will sink to the bottom. But then, as soon as they float to the top (which should only take about a minute or 2) they will be “al dente,” and will need another minute or so to be ready. Try not to over cook the tortellini, or you could end up with a mushy pasta salad.
Enjoy serving this pasta salad at room temperature, but you can serve it cold, making ideal for you to bring to picnics and BBQs, especially as the weather gets warmer.
No matter if we serve it warm or cold, I can tell you that this tortellini and broccoli salad is always the first bowl that disappears every time it is set down on the table!
Try this one and let us know.
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The weather has finally warmed up today – 80 degrees! So happy that Spring is around the corner! Are you? Have a great day everyone!
Tortellini and Broccoli Salad
- 2 packages (about 1 pound) frozen Cheese Tortellini
- 1 head fresh broccoli – rinsed, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves- minced
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 to 6 sundried tomatoes, in oil- chopped
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
First, Steam the Broccoli:
Add broccoli pieces to a medium size pot with 1-inch of water. Cover with a lid and bring to boil. Boil the broccoli for 2 minutes, or until the broccoli turns to a bright- dark green color. Turn off the heat, and drain the water. Return the broccoli back to the pot, cover and set aside, allowing to steam for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool completely.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Place minced garlic, olive oil, red pepper, and sundried tomatoes into a small bowl or plastic container. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside at room temperature. This can be made ahead of time, even up to 2 days. Just keep the sauce in an air-tight container. NO need to refrigerate.
Cook the Tortellini:
Bring a large sauce pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to boiling water. Add the cheese tortellini. When they float to the top, they only need to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes to be al-dente. Drain, and run them under cool water immediately to help stop the cooking process. Drain well.
Transfer tortellini to a large serving bowl. Add in steamed broccoli, and the garlic, sundried tomato and olive oil sauce. Toss gently until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The pasta salad should be moist and coated lightly. You may add more or less sauce to your liking. Keep in mind if you think you need to drizzle some more extra-virgin olive oil, you may do so since pasta has a tendency to absorb the olive oil quickly. Serve at room temperature.
Yields: 8 to 10 servings