Brenda Stanley
Belles Pasta and Olive Appetizers

Appetizers are a real treat, and yet we usually only have them at special occasions or when we go out to eat.

At our home, often the appetizer of choice comes out of a bag or box and is some unnatural shade of orange, which is why I love these fresh and flavorful Pasta and Olive Appetizers. They are made with real ingredients that come together in a wonderful mixture of flavors.

I make them ahead and then let them marinate and soak up that zesty flavor. The cheese-filled tortellini’s make this dish hearty, and the olives and marinade add a kick. They are so good; you may not even need to make dinner.

Belle’s Pasta and Olive Appetizers

2 cups frozen, cheese-filled tortellinis

Comment on this story

1 1/2 cups jumbo pimento-stuffed green olives (drained)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon poppy seed

Cook pasta in salted boiling water for about three minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, sugar and poppy seed. Pour over the pasta. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Drain olives. Drain pasta. Place a tortellini and an olive on a toothpick. Chill until ready to serve.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author, including the recently released "That's a Lot of Crock!" and novelist. Her website is at