Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tortellini Ham Salad



I love pasta salads. Give me a bowl of tuna pea pasta and I’m a happy camper.

As far as hot pasta dishes go, one of my favorites is tortellini. There’s something very satisfying about those little round packages of parmesan. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods. Luckily, my favorite grocery store offers dried tortellini in their bulk section, so I pick up a pound to have on hand for when the mood hits. 

It hit this afternoon and I decided to try a cold tortellini pasta salad. Not bad. Here’s the recipe I made up:

Heat a large pot of salted water. When it starts to boil, add a pound of dried tortellini. Cook until the tortellini floats, about 8-10 minutes. Drain. DSCN8357  (I use a perforated pasta insert to keep the tortellini from breaking up as it drains.)

While the pasta cooks, dice about a pound of ham. Add the ham to the drained pasta along with about 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese. If you like your food spicy, add dried chili flakes to taste.

Add equal amounts of mayo and sour cream until the salad has the creaminess level you like. I used about 1/4 cup of each because pasta salads always taste better the next day, and the moisture from the dressing absorbs into the pasta. I discovered that if I initially make it a little too creamy, then it’s perfect on the second day.

One note – this was my first time using canned ham. Blech. Too salty and too similar to Spam. Not that Spam is bad (I admit it, I’ll eat the stuff) but this salad would be much better with natural ham.

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