Summer Friendly Quick and Easy Tortellini Pepperoncini Salad

Dinners in our house had gotten fairly routine. By routine, I mean we’d find an excuse to meet up with friends or dine out rather than cook. (Honestly, I’d say I’m more the instigator here!) Taco Tuesday? Sure! Happy Hour? Lets do it!

When I got an email from MyRecipes.com on Monday promoting “Meatless Monday” right about the time I was planning out our weekly grocery list, I added it.

Tortellini Pepperoncini Salad:
With spicy peppers, sweet cherry tomatoes, earthy beans and lots of fresh herbs, this well-balanced meatless recipe is a meal in itself.

Capers? Pepperoncini? Sounds fancy. Yes, I’ve never had capers or pepperoncini before. Yes, it’s been pointed out peperoncini is the same thing that comes in the corner of the Papa Johns box. No! I haven’t ever eaten that pepper either!.

Adam and I have also recently chatted about branching out and trying new things…so here’s our first attempt.

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s slaving over the stove for an hour on a new recipe only to ultimately make a dish I don’t like. So frustrating.

We lucked out. This dish only took TEN MINUTES! Yes, ten minutes to prep and cook. Since the only thing heated is the tortellini, this will also be great in the summer months when it’s too hot to use the oven. Oh, and it’s actually tasty! Bonus!

First thing is you get the tortellini water boiling. Then, rinse all your veggies off.

Next, begin to chop up the ingredients. Since this is essentially a salad, Adam took a little extra care to aesthetically slice the grape tomatoes for presentation purposes. While he was busy with that, I chopped up the pepperochini, basil, and spinach. I threw in the tortellini in the pot of boiling water once I noticed it was ready.  Adam also measured and added the capers and Parmesan cheese.

We combined all our chopped veggies into a bowl and tossed. I really wish we’d selected a larger bowl at this point, but it still worked.

The tortellini was done by this point, so we drained and rinsed it with cold water.

We then rinsed, drained, and added the Great Northern Beans. This recipe actually called for Navy Beans, but I didn’t have any. I did have Great Northern Beans, and they look almost the same, so that’s what we were usin’!

Lastly, we added the tortellini into the bowl with the lemon juice and olive oil and tossed one last time.

I was sneaky and let Adam take the first bite.

“Babe, this is good!”

You could hear the surprise even in his voice.

It’s so surprisingly good, in fact, I decided to share it with you!

Tortellini Pepperoncini Salad [pinit]

Ingredients

(adapted from MyRecipes.com)

1 (9-ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini

2 cups halved cherry grape tomatoes

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers

6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup capers

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 (16 ounce) can navy beans Great Northern Beans

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. (This typically only takes 3-5 minutes, so you may want to start cutting your ingredients first).

While pasta cooks, combine tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cheese, capers, basil and beans in a large bowl. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. (This removes any unnecessary starch). Add pasta, juice and oil to tomato mixture; toss gently. Serve immediately.

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