Tortellini Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Sundried Tomatoes

This is a beautiful salad that is even prettier when made with tri-color tortellini. Any leftover vinaigrette can be refrigerated and served over a mixed greens salad the next day.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 packages fresh cheese tortellini, cooked & drained
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

Whisk vinegar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in olive oil.

In large bowl, gently mix tortellini, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Chill. Before serving, add the remaining vinaigrette to taste.

Gary: The cheese in the tortellini makes a lovely bridge to wine, enabling either a crisp white or a red with firm acidity to make a nice pairing and stand up to the vinaigrette. Seek out a crisp and focused Riesling or Pinot Gris to bring out the flavors of all the components of this salad, or a lightly oaked Chardonnay to echo the toast aromas and flavors of the pine nuts. Pinot Noir would be a delightful red that will enhance some of the darker, concentrated flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes. With Ohio’s cool climate, many of the reds are firmly structured with above-average acidity and could be paired with this entrée.

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