Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad

Story by Natalie
Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad
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When Holly and I (Natalie) started The Modern Proper we dreamed of the possibility that others might be inspired by our blog and dare to make new, adventurous recipes, throw more elaborate parties, and (while it is no longer a part of our blog) take time out of their busy schedules to pause for a seasonal DIY project. Fast forward nearly four years later and we’ve realized that even we don’t have time for intricate recipes, fancy parties, or DIYs. If we don’t and it’s our job, we’re guessing that neither do you. Over the years though, we’ve discovered that the real heart and soul of this blog is not to overwhelm you with guilt about what you don’t have time to do, but rather inspire you to try something new with the time you do have available and invite others to join you along the way, one great meal at a time. could be argued that homemade pasta is irreplaceably delicious...

Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad

Homemade pasta is one of those things you’ll probably never see on The Modern Proper. It’s not because we don’t love making it, because we do (everyone should try it at least once!),  it’s because the reality is that the labor intensive process required in crafting a delicate pasta  (such as ravioli or the perfect tortellini) is not something the average homemaker has the time to indulge. And while it could be argued that homemade pasta is irreplaceably delicious, we think we’ve found an alternative that offers the texture and flavor you’d expect when eating a meal that was labored over for hours. Allow us to introduce you to Giovanni Rana Pasta.

This summer, the Rana family invited us to visit their hometown of Verona, Italy to learn about their process and further introduce us to their beautifully crafted pasta. Needless to say, Holly and I couldn’t say yes fast enough. A work trip to Italy to learn about pasta? Um, yeah, sign me up! During our stay, the Rana family showed us around their beautiful city in a manner of hospitality I had never before experienced. While being face to face with affresco paintings in the Basilica of San Zeno, living out the dream of watching Aida in a nearly 2000 year old arena, sailing across Lake Garda, learning to make fresh ravioli with the masters, and wandering the sidewalks of Piazza delle Erbe are experiences I will never forget, it was the heart of the Rana family that left both Holly and I at a loss for words.

Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad
Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad

One afternoon as we toured the Giovanni Rana factory, we heard story after story of how a single man brought his wild dreams of making pasta to life. Because of the passion and vision of Giovanni Rana now those who are too busy to make fresh pasta from scratch (aka everyone) can have incredible tasting, fresh  pasta of the highest quality (every bit as good as their Nonna’s) on their table any night of the week. The attention to detail in each recipe Giovanni Rana produces is unparalleled. From sourcing ingredients (think large wheels of real Parmigiano Reggiano, DOP basil, beautiful porcinis, and the most vibrant heads of radicchio you’ve ever seen), all the way down to the .5 ml thinness at which the pasta is rolled out,  Giovanni Rana doesn’t miss thing.

On our last afternoon in the beautiful city of Verona we sailed across Lake Garda arriving at the Rana Family’s lakeside estate, Villa San Vigilio. Walking across the lawns in the summer heat while sipping on cold beer and listening to live music our jaws nearly dropped as crate after crate was brought out filled with weck jars of pasta salads, parchment wrapped sandwiches and skewers of tortellini, resulting in the most stunning picnic spread you can imagine. Not gonna lie, it kinda felt like we were on a movie set, and we may have had to pinch ourselves a few times to believe it was real. Every detail was thought of and executed flawlessly, and while we wish you could all experience hospitality to that degree one day, we hope you are inspired to have your own show stopping picnic Giovanni Rana style, because we sure were. The recipe I’m sharing today was from my favorite dish that afternoon: tortellini pasta salad using Giovanni Rana’s Cheese Lovers Tortollini, tossed with Giovanni Rana’s Basil Pesto, red bell peppers, sweet cherry tomatoes, roasted chicken, and fresh mozzarella. Simple, delicious perfection.

I could go on and on about the generosity that was bestowed upon Holly and I during our stay in Italy. From the food (SO MUCH FOOD), the parties, the hotel, and the sincere hugs and kind words of encouragement, nothing was spared, but it’s something you truly have to experience first-hand to believe. And guess what? You totally can! Head to the Dine with Rana site and you could win your very own trip to Verona (I just might have to enter myself!). In the meantime, simplify your summer entertaining by opening a bag of delicious Giovanni Rana Tortelloni and make your own show stopping and authentic pasta salad for friends and loved ones. Ciao!

Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad

This sponsored travel post is written by TMP on behalf of Giovanni Rana. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad

Serves 10


2 10 oz packages Giovanni Rana Cheese Lover's Tortelloni, prepared according to package instructions
2 cups shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8 oz pearl mozzarella
1 cup fire roasted bell peppers, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 cup Giovanni Rana Basil Peso
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil for garnish


  1. Cook the Giovanni Rana Tortelloni in salted boiling water for 4 minutes. In the meantime, sautésliced bell peppers in a pan. Move from the stove and add Giovanni Rana Basil Pesto andpasta cooking water, if necessary. Once Tortelloni are cooked, drain and pour them in the pangently stirring.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up to a day ahead. When ready to serve divide equallyin jars topped with fresh basil or keep in a large serving bowl and enjoy with friends!