Posted by: thefitacademic | March 10, 2011

Tortellini Caprese Salad

Hey friends! Wow, it’s been a whirl-wind of a day! We have all of our prospective grad students in town so there are a LOT of functions – from lunches to meetings to dinner events and grad student happy hours – the schedule has been PACKED!

Today I came home to a bit of a flower failure. I forgot to water the flowers for 2 days and they went from looking like THIS




So, admittedly, placed side-by-side it doesn’t look like a huge difference, and I will say that the white flowers are going strong, but all the blue flowers in both baskets have completely shriveled, and the red flowers (which are difficult to see in the top photos, but I promise they were looking good when first planted) are at deaths’ door-step.

I gave them a healthy amount of water and I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll revive over night.

Tonight there was a pot-luck dinner event for the new prospective students. My initial intention was to make something I already had on hand, (although I ended up having to buy basically all the ingredients Smile). I came across some tortellini, and while debating what to do with it (hot or cold, what sauce, etc.) I think I had a stroke of genius – tortellini…tossed in a Caprese Salad!!!

I ran to Trader Joe’s and picked up the essentials:  basil, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella balls.


While gone, Chris cooked the cheese tortellini for me and let it drain & cool. When I got back, all I had to do was chop the tomatoes and I cut the basil up julienne style (thin strips) and tossed everything together with some fresh cracked black pepper, dash of sea salt, and enough olive oil to get it all coated. Then I added just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.



Look at this sucker up close:


I am telling you – there were about 4 pasta salads at the event (last year it was all pizza – this year all pasta! We need to coordinate better!), but EVERYONE kept telling me that MINE was the best! Nothing beats fresh mozzarella – I think that’s where I won out!Open-mouthed smile

Plus, it was so quick and easy!

Now I’ve got to run – I need to do a quick Ab Ripper P90X video (this one is just 15 minutes, but it’s a good one!) before jumping in the shower and getting in some “me” time (maybe in the form of some trashy TV show???Winking smile)


Have you ever shown up to a Pot Luck and everyone has brought the same dish?

Do you have any one special dish that is “your” thing that you always make for get-togethers or other events?



  1. Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  2. I love fresh mozzarella!! Nothing does beat it, ever!

  3. No! I need a *thing* This fresh mozzie pasta dish look mighty tasty!

  4. Forget love – I’d rather fall in chocolate! ~ Sandra J. Dykes

  5. Sorry about your flowers. The pasta looks soooo good!

  6. Yummy! That makes me want some tomatoes topped with basil and melted mozz

    I have “my” dishes for Holidays like Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter.. Otherwise I bring something different every time..

  7. Yum, tortellini *and* fresh mozzarella? Sounds great!

    For your fitness interests – have you heard of Insane HIIT home workouts. I’ve been doing them for about 6 weeks and and the results are awesome! Lol, I sound like a cheezy advertisement!)

  8. You got that right — the secret ingredient in all my Papa’s authentic Italian recipes is FRESH mozzarella. It makes the dish!!!

    Also — I am an awful plant-mom. I’m a great cat- and dog-mom but there’s something about plants…I kill them every time. 😦

  9. lovely blog!
    so cute!
    lovely photos!
    take care,

  10. Oh gosh, I don’t know if I’ve ever had tortellini! I’ve got such a serious craving right now for what I imagine they’d taste like 😛

  11. I agree- nothing beats fresh mozzarella. Yummy looking salad.

  12. Your dish looks great. I have a few stand-bys that I do for pot lucks and the easiest is to take bread and butter. It’s always appreciated and a synch when I have no time.

  13. If I was at that party, I would have been hanging around your dish, it looks sooooo good. That has all of my favorite things in it!

    I have the same problem with flowers, I get them with the best intentions and then end up killing them slowly with neglect.

  14. Fresh mozzarella takes the cake every time! Great dish!

  15. Wow! I adore this recipe- I can’t wait to try it here at home! The fresh mozzarella definitely adds that final touch, doesn’t it? Love it- good work. 🙂

  16. Yay for p90x !!!!

  17. That recipe looks delish. I am normally the salad girl at the office potlucks!

  18. Frosh mozzarella is THE best! Mm!

  19. And clearly I can’t type…I meant fresh! 🙂

  20. ohmygosh I have GOOOOT to make this salad! ❤ yummmm!!!!!

  21. mine thing for get togethers is always the salad haha… i love caprese salads!

  22. Fresh mozzarella can make any dish good 🙂

  23. Oh my! Sounds absolutely awesome! Never thought of adding tortellini! Unfortunately I do not have a go to dish for potlucks. Each one I have attended has been super-organized & everyone assigned a dish to bring. I usually have a dessert I take to everything no matter what else I make!

  24. […] Tortellini Caprese Salad ( […]

  25. This is my kind of salad!! I definitely agree…fresh mozzarella is the best! I need to get my hands on some!

  26. You are seriously so clever, lady! Those mozz balls look positively delicious!

  27. last weekend was my department’s recruitment weekend – aren’t all the free meals great? it almost makes up for not accomplishing any real work during those days.

    and your pasta salad. OH EM GEE. i am 100% bookmarking it and making it soon!

    • haha, my department must be cheap! We got a lunch catered, but all the other meals we have to go dutch on (only the prospective students get their tab paid!)

  28. […] myself! I notoriously kill every plant I ever own, so the fact that these guys are still rockin’ (despite some close calls!) really makes me […]

  29. […] with a cold summer salad very similar to the one I posted here, only with rotini instead of […]

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