You can tell it's summer at Frugal Feasts because the pasta salad recipes are all I've got to share...
I have made this salad exactly one bazillion times over the past 25 years. It is fool proof, which is such a plus for moi, everyone loves it and it is cheap. It also looks good, another plus for moi. Is there anything worse than an ugly pasta salad? I can't think of a single thing.
To serve 15
4 bags store brand frozen cheese tortellini
2 big heads fresh broccoli, tediously cut into small bite-sized pieces
2 cans small black olives
1 clam shell of grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 block mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks about the size of everything else
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium heat. Add the tortellini and cook just until they float, gently stirring to break up the clumps. Cook these any longer and they tend to open up and get messy. Scoop out of the water and dump in the broccoli. cook for 2-3 minutes just until the turn technocolor green. Drain and add to the tortellini. Add the drained olives and the grape tomatoes. Toss with most of the vinaigrette and refrigerate until serving time. Add the mozzerella and add additional dressing if needed.
Good cold or at room temperature.
Creamy Basil Vinaigrette
Handful of fresh basil cut in a chiffonade (which is just a fancy word for stacking the leaves, rolling up tightly and then slicing into thin shreds)
Or 3 tablespoons basil pesto
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
loads of fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together all but the olive oil until thick and creamy. Slowly dribble in the oil while whisking. Taste and correct the seasoning. Basil will turn black but tastes delicious.