Italian Christmas Pasta Salad


For the pasta salad:

  • 1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cup olives, such as Kalamata, halved or whole
  • 1 cup cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 cup pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella pearls
  • 1 cup sharp provolone cheese, chopped
  • 1 cup pepperoncini, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as basil and/or parsley, chopped, plus more, whole leaves, to taste, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • flaked sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a pot of salted, boiling water, cook the tortellini to al dente, according to the package directions.

  2. Drain the water and rinse the tortellini with cold water.

  3. In a large bowl, add the cooked tortellini, the tomatoes, the olives, the cucumbers, the pepperoni, the mozzarella pearls, the provolone cheese, the pepperoncini, the pine nuts, and the red onion.

  4. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, the red wine vinegar, the garlic, the sugar, the herbs, the Dijon mustard, the salt, and the pepper and whisk to combine.

  5. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and gently stir with a large spoon to combine.

  6. Refrigerate the pasta salad, about 2-3 hours.

  7. Serve the pasta salad garnished with the extra herb leaves.

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