Made this dish for a 4th of July party at our home - it was by far the best pasta salad i've ever had. Not a big fan of those italian dressing based pasta salad, and this one was a nice alternative with lots of delicious veggies. I made the following changes: used the entire box of 12 oz rotini, substitued smoked provalone for smoked mozz, used double the shaved parmesean, substitued a couple swirls of EVOO for the mayo (not necessary), used a 12 oz jar of marinated artichokes, added some chopped cherry tomatoes and chopped red/yellow sweet peppers, along with fresh chopped parsley/basil. Our guests wanted the recipe!
Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
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.
- 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
- Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Cut artichokes into strips, and place in a large bowl. Add pasta and next 4 ingredients, and gently toss.
- 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.
- *1/2 pound smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese may be substituted for smoked mozzarella, if desired.
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