It's spring, I'm outdoors working in my formal vegetable garden, and I'm making pasta salads.
In addition to adding several new planting beds for my heirloom vegetables, I also decided it was time to raise the original bricks that have been edging the garden for the past eleven years.
Needless to say, after three days of hauling bricks home from the brickyard, digging up the original bricks, and laying the old and new, I wanted something simple for dinner last night. Along with a grilled flank steak, I served this Tortellini Salad with Snow Peas.
We are now having a gentle, cool rain, and temperatures are predicted to warm up nicely by the middle of the week. At that point I will start planting haricot verts, my favorite green bean in bush form. My husband is getting extremely anxious to plant his heirloom tomatoes that he started as seedlings in March, but it is still too early. No matter how nice the weather is, it's always the safest bet to wait until Memorial Day weekend for planting tomatoes in Minnesota.
TORTELLINI SALAD with SNOW PEAS
adapted from a very old House Beautiful magazine
• 1 1/2 pounds uncooked, meat or cheese-filled tortellini
• 1/2 pound snow peas
• 3/4 cup sesame oil
• 1/4 teaspoon Chinese hot oil
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• Pinch of each: cayenne, salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1/8 cup fresh ginger, finely diced
• 1/2 cup sesame seeds
• 3/4 cup pine nuts (pingoli)
• 2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1. Cook tortellini until al dente in boiling water. Plunge into cold water to stop cooking and drain. Toss snow peas into boiling water and cook for only 20 seconds. Plunge into cold water and drain.
2. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and beat well with a whisk. Add dressing to the tortellini and stir in the rest of the ingredients.