Green Goddess Pasta Salad
Cheese-filled tortellini serve as a soft, plush base for this comforting pasta salad, which is studded with sweet sugar-snap peas and sliced fennel. The herb-flecked green goddess dressing is creamy and rich, with a tartly pungent edge from garlic and lemon juice. Like all pasta salads, this benefits from being made a few hours ahead, so the pasta can absorb most flavor from the dressing. But don’t add the vegetables until just before serving so they maintain their crunch.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Fine sea salt, as needed
- 2(9- to 10-ounce) packages cheese tortellini
- 1fennel bulb with fronds, tough outer layers removed (see Note)
- 1cup sour cream or plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1packed cup basil leaves
- 2tablespoons coarsely chopped chives
- 2packed tablespoons parsley leaves
- 2garlic cloves, peeled
- 3scallions, white and green parts
- 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- ¼teaspoon black pepper, plus more for serving
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ⅔cup sliced sugar-snap peas
- 1cup baby arugula
Step 1In a pot of heavily salted water, cook the tortellini according to the package directions.
Step 2Make the dressing: While the water comes to a boil, chop enough of the fennel fronds to equal 1/4 cup. Put the fronds in a blender. Thinly slice enough of the fennel bulb for 3/4 cup, and set it aside. (Reserve any remaining fennel for another use.)
Step 3Add sour cream, basil, chives, parsley, garlic, 1 scallion, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the blender with the fronds and purée until smooth. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice, or both, if needed.
Step 4As soon as the tortellini is done, drain it well and put it in a large mixing bowl. Immediately, while it’s still hot, toss in enough of the dressing to coat. Let pasta cool in the dressing, at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Step 5Thinly slice remaining 2 scallions and add to bowl with tortellini. Toss in sliced fennel and sugar-snap peas. Drizzle with more dressing, tossing if needed.
Step 6To serve, transfer to a serving bowl, gently toss in arugula, drizzle with more olive oil and grind more fresh pepper over.