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Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Yield Makes 6 servings
This creamy pasta salad is packed with cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, roasted peppers and chopped green chiles.  It's a great salad to take to a covered dish dinner and you can make it a day or two ahead.

Ingredients

  • 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 (8-ounce) package rotini pasta, cooked
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
  • 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes*
  • 1/2 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Garnishes: tomato wedges, baby spinach leaves

How to Make It

  1. Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Cut artichokes into strips, and place in a large bowl. Add pasta and next 4 ingredients, and gently toss.

  2. Stir together reserved artichoke marinade, mayonnaise, and next 4 ingredients until blended. Add to pasta mixture, stirring to combine. Cover and chill. Garnish, if desired.

  3. *1/2 pound smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese may be substituted for smoked mozzarella, if desired.