Pepperoni & Basil Tortellini Salad

If you grew up in the South pasta salad was and still is a staple, but it typically just involves plain pasta and some sort o mayonnaise base. Shake things up with this fun new twist- Pepperoni & Basil Tortellini Salad, in a creamy Caesar dressing with sliced sweet grape tomatoes too.

Pepperoni & Basil Tortellini Salad

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Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

A great Caesar salad gets it’s greatness from a great dressing. This easy, homemade version will knock your socks off. The hubs, a self-proclaimed Caesar salad┬áconnoisseur , approved of the authentic taste. Bonus for him? He didn’t have to worry about being served a ‘chemical cocktail’ (aka processed dressing) over his bed of lettuce for dinner ever again. The hubs can be touchy about such things.

Even better for me? This recipe doesn’t have anchovies. Anchovies give me the creeps. I didn’t even know that’s what gave Caesar the tangy bite I loved so much until my early twenties when a friend told me mid-bite of, you guessed it folks, Caesar salad. First I freaked out, then I had a mild panic attack, and felt like my throat was constricting blinking back tears and trying not to gag. Then I couldn’t even look at my salad, let alone eat it. It was a whole year before I could even think about eating it. Not my finest hour, err year. But hey, time can fix anything, right? Wrong. You did know Caesar dressing usually has anchovies in it…right? If not, sorry I told you. Spoiler alert!

A long while later a quick search of the all-knowing Google proved that I could still get the taste I craved without getting the willies. A host of tangy ingredients, and a good bit of garlic, cover beautifully for the absent anchovies.

Caesar Dressing (without anchovies)

4 Sons 'R' Us: Caesar Dressing

recipe adapted from BigTigger on Chow Hound

3 tsp minced garlic
3/4 – 1 cup mayonnaise
1+ tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 1/2 – 3 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender, and blend until completely incorporated.
2. Slowly add in a little bit at a time, while continuing to blend, 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend until the dressing has emulsified.
3. Refrigerate until chilled, so that the dressing thickens, and continue to refrigerate any leftovers for up to a week.

Love the zesty, tangy taste of Caesar dressing? Give these recipes a try next:

4 Sons 'R' Us: Tortellini Caesar Salad

Tortellini Caesar Salad

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad