Load this salad up with your favorite meat to get an added protein boost.
Portions: serves 6
- 1 (9 ounce) package pesto filled tortellini or other pasta
- 3/4 cup Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
- 1 medium cucumber
- 3/4 cup carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta. While it is still warm, toss in a deep bowl with about ¹⁄4 cup salad dressing. Allow to cool at room temperature 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, partially peel the cucumber by removing ¹⁄4-inch strips of skin ¹⁄4-inch apart. Quarter the cucumber lengthwise, and slice. Combine the cucumber with the carrot and onion in a deep narrow bowl or container. Add about ¹⁄2 cup dressing and stir to coat. Allow to marinate about 30 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover both bowls and refrigerate. Allow the pasta and the vegetables to marinate separately for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, add the vegetables and their dressing to the pasta and toss with the cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.