1 (350 g) package fresh cheese tortellini
1 (375 g) package dry fettucine, broken in half, if desired
2 cups (500 mL) fresh snow peas
2 cups (500 mL) broccoli florets
1 pint (500 mL) grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups (500 mL) sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced pitted ripe olives (optional)
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup (75 mL) wine vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons (10 mL) chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) sugar
2/3 cup (150 mL) canola oil
Cook tortellini according to package directions; rinse, drain and set aside to cool. Cook fettucini according to package directions; rinse, drain and set aside to cool. Return pasta water to the boil, drop in snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking, drain and pat dry on paper towels. Return water to the boil and add broccoli. Cook 1 minute, rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine peas, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and olives, if using. Add tortellini, fettuccine and cheese. Toss well. Transfer to a covered plastic container and refrigerate until ready to pack into the cooler for transporting to the picnic site. Pasta salad can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated without dressing. Transport to picnic site in a cooler. Toss with dressing just before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Note: Parmesan cheese may either be tossed in with the salad or carried to the picnic site in a small container to use as a garnish.
To make dressing, place all ingredients except canola oil in a jar, cover and shake well. Add oil and shake vigorously to combine. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Transport to picnic site in a cooler. Remove from cooler half an hour before serving. Shake well and toss with salad ingredients.
Tip: When mixing a vinaigrette, use a tightly closed bottle, such as a mason jar. Combine herbs and vinegar first, shake well. Then add oil and shake vigorously. If oil is added in the beginning it will coat the herbs, reducing the release of flavours.