One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
These light, fresh-tasting stuffed shells really star as part of a luncheon menu. I came up with this distinctive combination of ingredients by accident one day using leftovers from other recipes. It's a cool summer main dish.
— Phy Bresse, Lumberton, North Carolina
Grilling out? You may want to serve this refreshing, make-ahead salad at the barbecue. A creamy Italian dressing enhances the chopped vegetables, cheese and pasta. —Joan Huggins, Waynesboro, Mississippi
I've found that I can't go wrong taking this colorful bean and pasta salad to a potluck, patio party or picnic. It is easy to put together ahead of time...and the flavors blend as the salad chills.
Arthurdale, West Virginia
Cashews add a nice crunch to this grilled turkey and spiral pasta combo. I first tasted this salad at a baby shower and asked the hostess for her recipe. Since then, I've served it for many occasions.
-Karen Wyffels, Lino Lakes, Minnesota
"This jazzed-up tuna recipe came from a nutritionist I worked with at a prenatal clinic," writes Mary pat Eck from Cincinnati, Ohio. "It's so full of protein and flavor that we shared it with many of our clients."
People tell me they can't stay away from this fresh-tasting salad, with its layers of lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, macaroni, hard-cooked eggs, ham and more. Mustard and pepper give a little zip to the creamy mayonnaise dressing.
-C. Neomi Drummond, Des Moines, Iowa
"When I bring this super salad to church dinners, there is usually nothing to take home," relates Lynn Cole of Sagle, Idaho. "Add 2 or 3 cups leftover turkey or chicken to create a filling main-dish salad," she suggests. "The dressing is so good that we use it on potato salads and even lettuce salads!"