Slate's 12 steps to better pasta salad. With our first pasta salad of the year, we followed several of the suggestions: cook the vegetables, go light on the acidity and use soft cheeses. But step No. 3? "Avoid tortellini." Well, we think we found an exception to that rule.Twelve Steps to a Better Pasta Salad (Images: Joanna Miller)
We can see how tortellini could be a bad choice for a pasta salad. Something meat-filled might be too heavy, and dried tortellini with reconstituted fillings could bring a bad flavor. But fresh tortellini with a light cheese and herb filling? We think that's just fine. When we thought about making a pasta salad, the first thing that came to mind was a photo from 101 Cookbooks that we came across more than two years ago. How's that for a powerful image? Heidi Swanson's recipe calls for a ricotta-stuffed ravioli and lots of "other stuff." We liked the idea of a salad packed with fresh, seasonal vegetables and a fresh, stuffed pasta to add bits of extra flavor. Fresh peas haven't shown up at our just-opened farmer's markets just yet, so we settled for frozen. But as soon as we can get our hands on some fresh peas, we're making this again.