Tortellini Pasta Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate

November 12, 2020

This Tortellini Pasta Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate is a delicious side dish full of flavor and holiday color!

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My Italian pasta salad has been a staple at every family gathering and every holiday for years.  But since I’ve made it so many times, I am beyond sick of it!  In fact, I make it because my family loves it, but I don’t even eat it!  Thankfully there are so many variations of pasta salad that can be made. 

Since it’s just going to be my husband and me this Thanksgiving, I figured I’d try out a new pasta salad recipe.  Tortellini is up there as one of my favorite kinds of pasta.  I mean, you can’t go wrong with little bites of pasta filled with cheese!  It works really well in a pasta salad since it adds an extra boost of cheesy flavor!

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate

 
This tortellini pasta salad is an easy side dish full of flavor and holiday color!  This recipe makes a small batch that will feed about four.  So if you have a few more mouths to feed at your holiday table, you might want to double this recipe.  After all, you can never go wrong with a little extra pasta salad! 

The first thing you want to do is cook your pasta! Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and carefully add the tortellini. Tortellini only needs a few minutes to cook and you’ll notice that it floats to the top of the pot when cooked. Once all the pasta is cooked, drain, rinse it with cold water, and set aside.

Next, start cooking the pancetta. Pancetta is basically bacon that hasn’t been smoked.  To me, it’s a little bit saltier than regular bacon, so you don’t need to add a lot of salt to flavor this salad.  Cook the pancetta, just as you would bacon, until it gets nice and crispy.  After cooking it for about 10 minutes, I removed it from the pan and let it drain on a paper towel. 

Now, you can start mixing things up.  I added the shredded Brussels sprouts, onion, walnuts, pomegranate, and pancetta to a large mixing bowl and stirred to combine it.  You can start to see that holiday color come together!

Next, stir in your pasta. I stirred the tortellini in last because I wanted to make sure the rest of the ingredients were combined first.  I didn’t really want to stir the tortellini too much just in case all of that stirring action caused the pasta to pop open!

The final touch is a simple lemon and garlic salad dressing.  In my blender, I added lemon juice, chopped garlic, olive oil, a splash of vinegar, and salt and pepper.  I gave it a quick blend, then poured it onto the salad and stirred. 

Now, you can plate the pasta salad and add some shaved Parmesan on top. I just took a piece of Parmesan cheese wedge and used my vegetable peeler to make shaved Parmesan that I broke into pieces. 

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate

Ingredients

    For the dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the pasta salad:
  • 3 1/2 cups frozen cheese tortellini
  • 4 oz. diced pancetta
  • 2 generous cups shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Shaved Parmesan

Instructions

    For the dressing:
  1. Add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to a blender.
  2. Blend until the ingredients are fully incorporated and set aside.
  3. For the pasta salad:
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add the tortellini to the water and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until they float to the top of the water. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  5. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is crispy. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, add the shaved Brussels sprouts, onion, walnuts, pomegranate, and pancetta. Stir to combine.
  7. Stir in the tortellini and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour in the dressing and stir to coat the salad.
  9. Plate the pasta salad and serve with shaved Parmesan on top.
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We had this with our dinner the other night and I wasn’t quite sure what my husband was going to think about it.  But he really enjoyed it!  So much that he asked for a “big bowl” of it with his lunch the next day! 

If you’re planning on making this pasta salad ahead of time, I suggest reserving some of the dressing or doubling the dressing recipe.  The longer the pasta salad sits, the more it’s going to soak up the dressing.  So keep some dressing on the side to add to it just before serving. 

Did you make this Tortellini Pasta Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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1 Comment

  • Reply My 20 Favorite Seasonal Items from Hungryroot - Living La Vida Holoka March 24, 2021 at 3:59 PM

    […] well-deserved respect these days!  These Shaved Brussels can be used fresh out of the bag in a salad or cooked in your favorite vegetable […]

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