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A week from today, on Monday the 28th, I’ll be on Channel 12 NBC Valley Dish with Tram Mai, making this pasta for a 4th of July menu. Let me just tell you, it’s the smoked Gouda that makes this salad! Do not leave it out or substitute another cheese.

Just wish I could have thought of something blue to add to make it a true “red, white, and blue” independence salad. Let me know if you think of something (I will let you know that blueberries don’t cut it!). Until then, I suppose you can just serve it on a blue plate.

Independence Pasta

Independence Pasta Salad

12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
1 pound Rotini
(corkscrew-shaped) pasta, cooked and chilled
14-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
8 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10-ounce bag baby spinach, leaves stacked and sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes from the jar, drained well, and patted dry
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup 0% Fage
(Greek yogurt)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tomatoes cut into wedges

Drain artichoke hearts over a bowl and reserve the marinade set aside.

Cut artichokes into strips, and place them in a large bowl. Add cooked and chilled pasta, bell pepper strips, cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, and gently toss.

Stir together half of the reserved artichoke marinade, mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, and pepper to combine. Add more of the reserved artichoke marinade, if needed or desired to the thin dressing.

Add dressing to pasta mixture, tossing to combine. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours before serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with Parmesan and pine nuts. Garnish with tomato wedges and serve.

Serves 10

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1 Marissa { 06.21.10 at 1:48 PM }

I love this pasta salad! Bring me some!

2 Linda Hopkins { 06.21.10 at 11:08 PM }

Marissa – you make me smile. Wish you could come with me to Ch 12 again – darn Tucson!

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