As an Italian wannabe, I’m a sucker for antipasti - as well as food on a stick, actually. Especially for parties. You want good food, but something easy to pick up and walk away with. The ingredients here are suggestions, but you can substitute any charcuterie/antipasti ingredients you have around. And of course, it’s impossible to have the exact count of each ingredient, so substitute cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves or pieces of roasted garlic for the ingredients that run out.
1/2 cup high quality olive oil
9-10 ounces fresh cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces of Ciliegine (tiny mozzarella balls)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4-6 ounces soppresatta or salami
4-5 ounces roasted red peppers
1 14 ounce jar artichoke hearts* Or pare and cook your own
4-5 ounces your favorite olive - I love Castelvetrano
5-6 inch skewers
Cook your tortellini according to the package directions. If I don’t make my own, I prefer fresh. It tastes best and cooks in 3-4 minutes.
While the water is boiling, prepare your mise en place (In French it means “set up,” basically getting all your ingredients prepped):
In a small bowl, marinate the mozzarella in 1/4 cup olive oil, pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and a bit of salt & pepper.
Prepare a bowl for the cooked pasta by adding 1/4 cup oil, salt & pepper and balsamic vinegar.
*If you’re buying the artichoke hearts, buy the ones that are in a jar with oil, not the ones that are canned or in a brine. Yuck. Most jarred artichoke hearts come with some of the petals left on. But they can be really fibrous and feel like wax paper in your mouth. Cut them off for these skewers, using only the solid part that I have outlined in the picture below.
Drain your olives
Cut the peppers in 1-1/12 inch pieces
It’s easiest to purchase soppresatta or salami in small circles but if you can’t find them, cut your meat to match the peppers.
When the pasta is done, drain very well and add to the prepared bowl you have waiting for it. Stir.
In an assembly line fashion, add the ingredients to the skewer, making sure that the sturdier ingredients are on the top or bottom, holding the more delicate items like the pasta in place.
Have some ingredients left? Add the remainder of meat and veggies to any leftover pasta. Add a little more oil and balsamic if necessary and you have a nice little pasta salad for another day.
It’s 93 degrees outside so something nice and cool to snack on is not a bad thing, party or not.
Try a nice cold Pinot Grigio with this or even a medium-bodied prosecco like the Tesoro Della Regina Prosecco. It’s light and a little crisp and a good accompaniment to the antipasti.
But enjoy the 90-degree days while you can - they’ll be over soon.