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This easy to prepare salad can be made ahead. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. For extra color, use tri-color pasta.

1 pound penne, rotini or other medium pasta shape, uncooked
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and cut into thin strips
1 (12 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 cup diced muenster, brick or provolone cheese
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2/3 cup low-fat Caesar or Italian salad dressing
freshly ground black pepper
sliced pepperoncini peppers (optional)

Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, combine pepper strips, artichoke hearts, cheese, mushrooms, onion and basil in a large bowl.

When pasta is done, drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and add pasta and dressing to bowl; toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serves 8.

Nutrition facts per serving: 482 calories, 16.9 grams, protein, 73.3 grams carbohydrates, 13.5 grams fat, 14.7 milligrams cholesterol, 778 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 25 percent.

From: National Pasta Association
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