TORTELLINI SALAD WITH FRESH BASIL
In a deep large kettle/pot, cook tortellini in about 3 quarts salted boiling water for 6 minutes after water returns to a boil. Drain and rinse thoroughly; drain well again.
In a large bowl, combine cooked tortellini, shaved or cubed Parmesan cheese, green onions, sweet red and yellow peppers, and basil, tossing lightly to mix. Add desired amount of Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing and salt and pepper to taste; toss again lightly to mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. May serve chilled or at room temperature. Top with grated Parmesan cheese just before serving. Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil.
Note: Preferably choose a fresh handmade tortellini. Meat, or spinach, or seafood-filled tortellini may be substituted for cheese-filled pasta.
Variation: Garnish with toasted pine nuts or toasted slivered blanched almonds.
Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
about 1¼ cups
In a small bowl, combine the first 7 or 8 ingredients, blending well. With a wire whisk, gradually whisk in oil in a steady stream until mixture is smooth and well blended. Store, tightly covered, in a glass or plastic container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just before serving, whisk again with a wire whisk.