Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

This quick and easy Tortellini Pasta Salad is packed with fresh Mediterranean -inspired flavors. You can whip this up in less than 20 minutes and it will be the star of any BBQ or potluck this summer! 

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Seriously! Don’t you just love cheese tortellini? I just love any food that is stuffed with other food. It’s like a little surprise in every bite. It’s just so much fun! I know what you are probably thinking… somebody really needs to get a life. 🙂

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

Recipe Source: A Vintage Kitchen

Tortellini Salad:

  • 1- 20 oz. pkg. fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1-pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Long English Cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing:

  • 2 whole roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Greek seasoning
  • 2 tsp. sugar or 1 tsp. of honey
  •  1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, puree the red peppers, vinegar, Greek seasoning, and sugar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Let cool
  3. While the tortellini is cooking, wash and chop all the vegetables.
  4. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if needed. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

Other recipes you might like::

Greek Quinoa Salad

One-Pan Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

Italian Sausage Meatball Minestrone Soup

Spinach and Feta Quiche

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

 


Adventures in Ireland – Galway and The Cliffs of Moher

GALWAY, IRELAND

Galway, Ireland is a medieval town situated on the scenic route of the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast of Ireland.

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Galway is also known as “City of Tribes” because of the fourteen merchant families known as the  “tribes of Galway” dating back to the early 13th century. The most prominent family was the Lynch family. The Lynch castle is still standing today and is now used as a bank.

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This area of Galway is known as The Latin Quarter. Brightly colored shops, pubs, and restaurants line the cobblestone roads. We spent three days in Galway and really fell in love with this city.

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Music is such a huge part of the Irish culture it is not surprising that there are street entertainers everywhere.

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If you like to enjoy a pint or two, there are no shortages of pubs to choose from. We definitely enjoyed a few while we were there.

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In the heart of Galway is a popular park known as Eyre Square, also known as John F Kennedy Memorial Park. A great spot to sit and relax on a beautiful day. I know Ireland is known for raining a lot,  but other than our first day in Galway, we hardly had any rain at all in the two weeks we were there.

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After a lot of sightseeing, we were starting to get a little hungry so we decided to stop into the pub An Púcán. Ireland is well known for having an abundance of amazing, fresh seafood so we decided on the fresh oysters and calamari, along with a cold beer. In my opinion, fresh seafood and a cold beer is a match made in heaven. This is what vacation is all about!

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We enjoyed our visit to An Púcán so much we decided to return the following evening. They had an amazing band playing live music and we had so much “craic” (the Irish word for “fun”).

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Half Mile Down

 

The Cliffs of Moher

We were sad to leave Galway but excited to finally get to see the Cliffs of Moher. We got to cross off a few things on our bucket list on this trip. The Cliffs of Moher is an absolute “must see”. The day we went was an extremely windy day, in fact, it was so windy that it was actually closed due to power outages in the area, and we were told to go “at your own risk”. Well, we had gone all the way out there, we couldn’t just turn around without seeing this majestic landscape. The wind was absolutely insane! I have never experienced anything like that. It was so windy we were actually having great difficulty walking and at one point I almost fell over. We were just hanging onto each other for dear life! It wasn’t as scary as it sounds because there is a barrier going around the edge to prevent people from blowing off the cliffs. The sheer beauty of the cliffs, as well as that crazy wind,  is a memory I will have forever.

 

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Sesame Noodle Salad with Carrot-Sesame Vinaigrette

 

A Vietnamese-inspired Salad packed with vibrant fresh veggies and tossed with a sweet and tangy Carrot-Sesame Vinaigrette. Spring has SPRUNG, my friends.

 

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Spring is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! After a long, cold winter indulging on all of those heavy, rich and creamy comfort foods, it’s time to lighten things up. Read More


Colcannon

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Colcannon is a traditional Irish potato dish made with mashed potatoes, leafy greens such as cabbage or kale, leeks or green onions and plenty of good Irish butter. I served this with my Beef and Guinness Stew

Colcannon

Recipe Source: A Vintage Kitchen

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned well and sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups finely chopped green cabbage, about 1/2 head
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup butter, preferably an Irish butter such as Kerrygold
  • approx. 1 1/4 cups warmed milk
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook potatoes in cold, salted water until very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  3. Add leeks and cabbage to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are softened 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and green onions and cook an additional minute.
  4. With a potato masher, mash potatoes, adding the butter and warmed milk.
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Beef and Guinness Stew

 

Beef and Guinness Stew – A hearty stew slowly simmered for hours in a rich, deeply flavored broth until the beef is melt-in-your-mouth-tender. Guinness Stout Beer adds an incredible depth of flavor. 

 

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One of my all-time favorite meals is beef stew. It is so cozy and comforting, especially on a cold day. I never really make it the same way twice; sometimes I add red wine, sometimes I add Cognac. As St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I thought it would be a great time to try Guinness Beer. Well, I have found my new favorite addition to beef stew!

Dark, malty, Guinness beer adds a deep, rich, complex flavor to a classic beef stew. Even if you are not a fan of beer, I think you will still really love this stew. I served this with  Colcannon

Beef and Guinness Stew

Recipe Source: A Vintage Kitchen

  • 2 1/2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into  1″ to 2 ” pieces
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 – 12oz. bottle Guinness beer
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  •  sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups potatoes, chopped into 1″ pieces (or other root vegetables such as; turnip, celery root, rutabaga, sweet potato)
  • 1 large parsnip, chopped into 1″ pieces

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the beef into 1″ to 2″ pieces. Pat dry the beef with a paper towel, and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef in small batches and brown well on all sides. Remove beef from the pot and set aside. Lower the heat if the beef is browning too quickly.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the onions and cook until the onions are starting to caramelize, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook while stirring, for another couple of minutes.
  6. Whisk in the Guinness and stir and scrape the pot with a wooden spoon to lift off all of those yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add the seared beef, beef stock, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Balsamic vinegar, dry mustard, and herbs to the pot.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Add the remaining vegetables and simmer until the beef is very tender, about 30 to 45 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems. Yields: about 8 servings

 

NOTE:  This stew freezes well, provided it is made without potatoes. Potatoes don’t generally freeze well, especially larger chunks of potatoes.