Tortellini Pesto Salad

Summer is my time to cook delicious meals that are easy and satisfying. Lately, I’m having fun with a large salad where I put the entire meal on a bed of lettuce and serve. I love tortellini tossed with pesto sauce so I put it on a bed of lettuce, surrounded by cheese, eggs, marinated mushrooms, and tomatoes. You could use any combination with the tortellini for the salad toppings.

Be creative, and have fun!

1 package (9oz.) Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini

1/4 cup Pesto* Recipe below or use Buitoni refrigerated pesto

2 Tablespoons toasted Pinenuts

1 head Boston Bib lettuce, cleaned and separated.

1 can Cento Artichokes, quartered

1 cup Pastene Marinated Mushrooms

1 cup tri-colored cherry tomatoes

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

*Pesto Sauce

4 cups packed fresh basil

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 cloves garlic

1/2 parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine basil, oil, pine nuts, and garlic in a blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both kinds of cheese and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.  Freeze unused pesto.

Boil tortellini according to package instructions and drain. Place tortellini in a medium-size bowl. Toss with pesto and pine nuts. Chill for 1 hour.

Place lettuce on a large serving plate. Mound tortellini in the center. Arrange artichokes, mushrooms, eggs, tomatoes, and goat cheese around the tortellini.

Enjoy!

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