Artichoke Garbanzo Pasta Salad

This recipe has the distinction of being the first (so far as I can find) that I posted to The Common Room, back in May of 2005. It’s hard to believe we were blogging nearly four months before I posted a recipe, isn’t it?

I collected it from the website Meals For You, one of my favorites for ease of use, and for the shopping list it creates for me. I made it to share with some precious out of town company. Our adaptations in italics:

Artichoke Garbanzo Pasta Salad
This recipe serves 20 (meals for you will recalculate your recipes for you to make as many or as few servings as you desire)

Prep: 15 min, plus chilling time. (we didn’t bother with the chilling time)

* 2-1/2 lbs. canned artichoke hearts, chopped
* 3-1/4 lbs. canned garbanzo beans, drained
Next time we’ll use more artichoke hearts and fewer garbanzo beans (when I was a young bride I did not know that garbanzo beans and chickpeas were the same thing, and I wasted many hours at the grocery store searching for ‘chickpeas,’ when my store only carried garbanzo beans)
* 10 cups cooked pasta shells or spirals
* 6-2/3 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
* 3-1/4 large tomatoes, chopped
* 3-1/4 red bell peppers, chopped (we used a bag of frozen peppers, mixed)
* 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
* 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
* 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. water
* 1 Tbs. minced garlic
* 2-1/2 tsp. dried basil or oregano
* 3/4 tsp. black pepper
* 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
* 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. feta cheese, grated (we omitted this)

Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Blend next 7 ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour over salad and toss. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Top with feta cheese before serving.

We think this would be delicious with chopped ham, turky ham, chicken or tuna salad.
I topped mine with parmesan cheese. Swiss would have been tasty, too.

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