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Summer Tortelloni Pasta Salad

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 25 min
Tortellini pasta salad in a bowl with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella

Summer is for picnics and every picnic needs a pasta salad! We've tossed our tortellini with pesto, fire roasted peppers, sweet cherry tomatoes, roasted chicken, and fresh mozzarella.

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.

a bag of fresh tortellini pasta opened.
a bowl of cooked tortellini cheese pasta in a bowl next to pesto, mozzarella balls, tomatoes and chicken

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.

tortellini pasta with pesto, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, shredded chicken, roasted red peppers.

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.

Tortellini pasta salad in a bowl with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella
Tortellini pasta salad in little jars with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella

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!

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
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients

Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up to a day ahead.
  2. When ready to serve, top with fresh basil.