Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BLT Pasta Salad

This was the perfect pairing for the Bacon Ranch Cheeseburgers that were my contribution on our camping weekend. I wasn't sure if I would like the whole pasta and lettuce combination, but it was delicious! The dressing was wonderful - not too heavy tasting and the perfect topping to this salad... I premade this salad the night before we went camping and it sat in the refrigerator until it was my turn to cook the meal. So, even though it said to serve at room temperature, it still tasted wonderful out of the fridge!

BLT Pasta Salad
(recipe found at www.foodnetwork.com)

12 ounces corkscrew shaped pasta
1/2 cup milk
12 ounces lean bacon
3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion greens
5 heads bibb lettuce, quartered, or 5 cups chopped romaine hearts

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain and toss with the milk in a large bowl; set aside. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard all but 3 tablespoons drippings from the pan. Add the tomatoes, thyme and garlic to the pan and toss until warmed through; season with salt and pepper. Crumble the bacon into bite size pieces; set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Toss the remaining bacon and the tomato mixture with the pasta.

Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and 3 tablespoons chives with the pasta until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce; toss again to coat. Garnish with the reserved bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Serve at room temperature.

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