This pasta salad was a bit on the special side; it's true. Roasted butternut squash and tortellini are tossed in a sweet orange dressing, and the salad is studded with toasted pine nuts and dried currants.
We recently threw a rather decadent holiday party. The Prosecco was flowing, the roasted pork was succulent, and the coconut cupcakes were a delightful tower of snowy sugar. I’m not bragging, but I treat my people right!
But somehow, since then, all I keep hearing about is the pasta salad. One girlfriend demanded the recipe, while another called it, ‘the unsung hero of the feast.’ You heard that right – the pasta salad. That standard must-have at every summer barbecue. The famous potluck workhorse. That’s what all the fuss is about?
Well, this pasta salad was a bit on the special side; it’s true. Roasted butternut squash and tortellini are tossed in a sweet orange dressing, and the salad is studded with toasted pine nuts and dried currants. Peppery arugula lends a bit of a bite to this yummy salad that, apparently, will wow your guests.
Tortellini Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini
1 9-ounce package spinach tortellini
1 12-ounce bag arugula
4 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup toasted pignoli nuts
1 cup dried currants
1 cup shaved Asiago cheese
For the dressing:
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 orange, zest and juice
1/3 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the diced butternut squash in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, dried thyme, and kosher salt to the bowl. Toss well, until the squash is well coated with oil. Pour all the squash on to the sheet pan.
- Place the pan in the oven. Bake until the squash is tender, and just beginning to brown, about twenty-five minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool.
- Place a large pot full of water over a high flame. When it comes to a boil, cook the tortellini according to package directions. Take care not to overcook. When the pasta is perfectly al dente, drain. Immediately run cold water over the pasta, to stop the cooking.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the shallot, garlic, mustard, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake well, until fully emulsified.
- Place the cooled pasta and squash in a large mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, dried currants, and shaved Asiago cheese to the bowl. Pour the dressing over salad ingredients and toss well.
- Add the arugula just before serving and toss once more.
This recipe will yield ten to twelve servings.