Donna’s Tuscan Pasta Salad with Artichokes And Sun Dried Tomatoes

This healthy Mediterranean salad is a fantastically beautiful and flavorful.

1/2 pound rigatoni
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
14 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained cut into quarters
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup black olives, cut in half
1/2 pound lean ham or prosciutto, sliced
4 ounces feta cheese, tomato and basil flavored
6 ounces (about 4 cups) fresh small spinach leaves, washed and drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, optional

In a large saucepan, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a small jar, combine olive oil, garlic, and vinegar. Set aside In a large bowl, combine pasta, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, basil, olives, ham, and cheese. Mix well. Remove stems from spinach leaves.

When ready to serve add spinach leaves and dressing. Toss gently. Top individual servings with pine nuts if desired.

Note: To toast pine nuts, cook in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 1 -2 minutes or until lightly golden.

Note: Roasted red peppers can be substituted for the sun dried tomatoes if desired.

Serves 8

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 290
Fat, gm. 14
Protein, gm. 13
Carb, gm 30
Cholesterol 25
Fiber, gm 3