Tortellini Pasta Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables – When the summer heat is blazing, chill out with this refreshingly cool summer pasta salad chock full of fresh roasted vegetables.
The dog days of summer are here! The temperature has been in the 90’s for over a week, the sun is shining bright, and the humidity makes it impossible to be comfortable outside, even if you’re sitting perfectly still.
As a kid, I didn’t have air conditioning. I remember laying in bed in my second-story bedroom. My bed was next to a window and I’d spend the night looking out the window hoping to catch a breeze while listening to crickets in the still night air. It was impossible to sleep on such hot nights! In those days I vowed that I’d grow up and buy a home with A/C. Happily, I met this important life goal a few years ago and I’ve been chilling out ever since.
The suffering of growing up without air conditioning helped me come to appreciate the joy of chilled dinners. On a hot summer’s day there’s nothing like a freshly-chilled pasta salad! I still love a good summer pasta salad. Some people go to picnics for burgers and dogs. I’m there for the summer salads!
Today’s recipe features summer zucchini, grape tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and basil that are available at most farm stands across America. The addition of salami and mozzarella makes this tortellini salad satisfying enough all by itself for a cool and flavorful dinner on a hot summer night!
Tortellini Pasta Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables
- 2 small zucchini, cut into coins and then into quarters
- 2 yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 10 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 9 oz package fresh three-cheese tortellini*
- 1 9 oz package fresh spinach and cheese tortellini*
- 4 oz Italian salami, thinly sliced and cut into quarters
- 1 8 oz fresh mozzarella ball, cut into 1/2" cubes
Basil Champagne Vinaigrette
- 1 C packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Slice and chop the zucchini, yellow bell peppers, red onion, and grape tomatoes. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet and evenly coat with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting make the basil champagne vinaigrette and cook the tortellini. For the dressing whisk together all of the ingredients and then set aside.
- Next, cook the tortellini per the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.
- Toss the basil champagne vinaigrette in with the tortellini and then place it in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- The vegetables should soon be done roasting. Remove them from the oven and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, cube the mozzarella and cut the salami into dime-sized pieces.
- Once at room temperature, toss the roasted vegetables, mozzarella, and salami in with the tortellini. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve chilled.
*I used the Buitoni brand tortellini