Tortellini Salad w/ Sausage, Broccoli & Mustard Vinaigrette
You might think this is a strange combination of ingredients & not a fall dish, but it's served warm and is delicious, trust me, and broccoli is all over the farmer's markets right now.
It was the perfect time to bring this recipe out of the memory bank.
The recipe comes from a college girl who hosted her first dinner party and served this dish in 1984.
That college girl would be me!
When my parents went to the 1984 Olympic Games hosted in Los Angeles, I hosted a dinner party in New Jersey. I can't really remember what else was on the menu, but I do remember this being the main dish. (I am sure I served an Entenmann's loaf cake for dessert!).
I used my mother's best china & silver but cleaned up afterwards, and she never found out about the party.
I haven't made this in forever, and made it from memory. It was still as delicious today as it was all those years ago!
If you have a favorite recipe for mustard vinaigrette, then by all means, use it. You can't go wrong.
Tortellini Salad w/ Broccoli, Sausage in a Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 package of fresh cheese tortellini (I like Trader Joe's varieties)
1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 red onion, cut into thick slices
3 pork or turkey sausage links (I used sweet Italian sausage), cut into rounds
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp of grainy Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of honey (or Honeycup spicy mustard)
1 tbsp of white vinegar
6 tbsp canola oil
a dash or 2 of tabasco sauce
Whisk dressing ingredients and taste for seasoning. You may want it hotter, or more vinegar, or thinner. (I would like to be hotter and thinner too).
Blanch or steam the broccoli florets for 5 minutes until bright green and set aside.
In a heavy skillet, cook the sliced red bell peppers with the red onion slices for only a minute to take the strong bite out of the onion (you can also skip this step and throw them in raw if you like the bite of the red onion).
Place the onions and peppers in a large bowl w/ the broccoli.
In the same skillet, cook the sausage slices until browned on both sides. You may need to add some oil to the pan if you are using lean sausage.
Add the cooked sausage to the bowl with the vegetables.
Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water. If you are using fresh pasta, this will only take a minute or two. Drain and add tortellini to the big bowl.
Pour mustard dressing over and carefully mix together.
Serve warm or at room temperature.