Mar 23, 2009

Jack's Italian Pasta Salad:

Here is another great recipe the kids will love.

1 package of Spiral Colored Rotini (curly macaroni) (8oz box).
8-10 ounce package, Meat or Cheese Filled Tortellini (for this dish, I prefer the meat filled).
Note: I usually buy these fresh in the refrigerated section. But you can buy them frozen in a large bag. Frozen, use about 20 pieces.
1/2 cup of chopped Red Onion.
5 Baby Carrots (they come in a bag).
2 Stalks of Celery.
Half Fresh Cucumber (wash thoroughly, leave skin on).
1/4 cup of Olive Oil.
2 Tablespoons Sugar.
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar (any brand).
1 teaspoon of Table Salt.
1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder.
2 Tablespoons of Dry Oregano.
1 Tablespoon of Dry Basil.
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Ground Black Pepper.
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Romano Cheese (buy this already made, like Craft brand, I use the store brand).
1/4 Cup of Black Olives (no pits) (I buy in a can, but you can buy fresh, just remove the pits if they have any).
1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (buy already done in plastic bag)
1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
1/4 Cup of Fresh Italian Parsley.
Vegetable Oil.

Cooking Utensils:
Can Opener
Cutting Board
Kitchen Paring Knife
Large 4 or 5 Quart Bowl
3 or 4 Quart Pot with lid, I use Rever-ware
Mixing Cup
1 Teaspoon
1 Tablespoon
Pasta Strainer
Long Handled Cooking Spoon, preferable with holes
Saran or Plastic Wrap (any brand)
Diner Plate


Cooking Instructions:
In a cooking pot fill about 2/3 with water.
Cover with led, bring to a boil.
Remove lid, add in about 3 tablespoons of cooking (vegetable) oil.
Add in 1 tablespoon of table salt.
Pour in Spiral Colored Rotini (curly macaroni) Pasta.
Cook per instructions on package.
Sit the strainer on diner plate next to pot.
Using the long handled spoon with holes, remove Pasta, place in Strainer (do not throw away water), run cold water over pasta. 
Shake well and drain water off. 

Place in the large Bowl, place in refrigerator for about 15-minutes, do not cover.
Now place Meat or Cheese Filled Tortellini in same pasta water pot, bring back to a boil, reduce to low heat, follow cooking instructions on package.
Pour Tortellini into strainer, run cold water, shake thoroughly.
Allow to set at room temperature.

Preparation Directions:

Step # 1: Vegetables
Finely Chop 1/2 Red Onion.
Cut 2 stalks of Celery length ways in half, next cut on diagonal cuts into about 1/2 inch lengths.
Using about 5 Baby Carrots, cut in half-length ways, now finely cut into pieces.
Chop Black Olives.
Finely Chop Italian Parsley.
Cut Whole Cucumber into Half, then into small pieces (start with half the cucumber, then slice long way in half, and half length way again, then cut into small pieces. Leave skin on, leave seeds).

Step # 2: Preparation
Remove Bowl from Refrigerator with Pasta...
Add the -

Black Olives
Table Salt
Garlic Powder

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Baby Carrots

Red Onion
Dry Oregano
Dry Basil
Dry Red Pepper Flakes
Olive Oil
Fresh Italian Parsley
Balsamic Vinegar

Stir thoroughly

Now add the Tortellini

Stir thoroughly again

Now add-
The Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Romano Cheese

Stir thoroughly
Cover with Plastic Wrap

Place in refrigerator for minimum 1 hour before eating.
Note: Taste best refrigerated over night. 

Remove about 15-minutes before eating. 
Taste again … 
If on sour side, lightly add sugar, and taste. 
If too sweet very lightly add Balsamic Vinegar, taste. 
If too dry, lightly add Olive Oil, mix thoroughly, taste. 
If flat, lightly add table salt, taste. 
If you like cheese, add more Parmesan, slowly, mix, taste until the way you personally like it.

Now You're Cooking with JACK
Just Another One of Jack's Famous Recipes
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Anonymous said...

Hey Jack, I'm new around these parts. I'm curious if these are your own tried and true recipes or you found them somewhere else and share? Everything sounds really delicious. I'm looking forward to trying a few at home.

Take care,

Jacks Recipes said...

Thanks for the post to my recipe Blog.
Yes, many of the Recipes are my own, some adopted from a basic recipe and modified through years of experimentation.
The Italian Recipes are from my previous mother-in-law who was from Sicily.
Happy Cooking-