9/9/10

Italian Pasta Salad with Chicken or Tuna

Over the past few years a simple tortellini pasta became a staple at many summer meals as I knew I always had ingredients on hand to throw together. I don't have to worry about a recipe because I never make the same salad twice! Sometimes with cucumbers, sometimes tomatoes, I've used balsamic vinegar in place of of the Italian when it's what was already made in the refrigerator... the basics stay the same (pasta, dressing, black olives, cheese of some sort) but add artichokes if you want or perhaps capers this time or change the cheeses from provolone to mozzarella or even feta.

When it comes to chicken or tuna based pasta salads I almost always use a mayonnaise based or 'creamy' binder. I rarely use an Italian dressing and pasta paired with tuna or chicken. This recipe does. What do you think?


Summer Pasta

2 cans tuna or chicken, drained
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 can (12 oz.) black olives, sliced
3/4 cup Italian dressing
1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. tortellini , cooked, drained and cooled

Mix the tuna, green pepper, onion, and black olives in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing, mixed herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and add the pasta. Toss, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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