About this Recipe
Pasta Salads are generally a hit with people of all ages. You can buy tortellini ready made, either in the common pasta color or you can get these colorful ones as well. We really enjoy making potluck type food with colorful food. Tortellini are the little ring-shaped pasta pieces that are stuffed with a bit of filling. The common fillings are generally cheese or meat.
They take only moments to cook and are tasty on their own or with a cheese sauce. They are also nice in salads. They taste good hot or cold.
Grandmother's Kitchen Tips for Easy Colorful Pasta Broccoli Salad:
1. Don't overcook the pasta or the broccoli. You want to keep these ingredients from being mushy.
2. Make extra. This keeps well refrigerated and is great for leftovers.
3. Use raw sunflower seeds in the dressing, not roasted. Sunflower seeds when blended in a dressing makes the dressing a thicker consistency.
Make as little or as much as you need to feed the amount of people you are serving.
tortellini - we used 3 packages in this recipe
broccoli - washed and cut into small bite sized bits - we used about 8 cups of pieces
1 cup craisens - you can use more or less
1 cup chopped raw almonds - you can use more or less
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1-2 Tablespoon honey (to taste)
2 sprigs parsley, cut off the stem
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Make the salad dressing. Put all the ingredients into a blender and whiz until creamy smooth. You can add more salt and pepper to taste. This is one of our favorite salad dressings and we use it on all types of salad. You can make this up ahead of time. Keep refrigerated and use as needed. This makes about 1 cup of dressing. Only use what you need. It will depend upon how big your salad is. You will want to lightly coat all the ingredients but not have them 'swimming' in dressing.
2. Cook the tortellini by bringing a pot of water to the boiling point and add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Drop in the pasta and cook 6-10 minutes or until they are floating on the top of the pot.
Use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked tortellini to a container to cool.
3. Drop the broccoli into the same water you used, bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes, just enough to lightly cook the broccoli. You do not want to overcook as they are nicest when they are not mushy. Drain the water and set aside, letting the broccoli cool.
4. Gently stir the cooled broccoli into the tortellini. Use a nice large bowl for combining so you have lots of room to lightly toss this salad together.
5. Add the craisens and the chopped almonds and stir in gently. Add the dressing. Mix to combine. Cover the serving bowl with wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tortellini originated in Italy. These ring shaped pasta traditionally were served in a broth, like a dumpling.