1. BLT Pasta Salad

    It’s far from picnic season, but that isn’t going to stop me from craving those kinds of foods. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nothing like a cool and creamy pasta salad on a warm summer day. Of course, just because I can’t enjoy the sunshine doesn’t mean I won’t make the most awesome pasta salad possible. And I did.

    I humbly submit for your approval BLT Pasta Salad. It combines subtle herbs with peppery arugula and fresh tomatoes, all held together by a creamy base. Most importantly, it’s finished with a modest portion of ever-delicious bacon. With those ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong—even if it’s not quite time for a picnic.

    BLT Pasta Salad

    BLT Pasta Salad
    3 cups corkscrew pasta
    ½ cup milk
    10 slices thick-cut bacon
    1 clove garlic, minced
    ½ tsp thyme
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    3 tbsp sour cream
    3/4 cup grape tomatoes
    ½ arugula, packed
    2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    1 tbsp grated parmesan
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Boil the pasta in salted water according to the package’s instructions. Drain and rinse, then pour into a large bowl. Mix in the milk and set aside.

    Cook the bacon on medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and crumble. In a separate pan, bring 1 tsp of the bacon drippings to low heat. Add the garlic and thyme, allowing it to cook for no more than a minute. Pour the garlic and drippings into the bowl of pasta and mix. Stir in the mayonnaise and sour cream until thoroughly incorporated.

    Halve the grape tomatoes and add them, along with the arugula, to the pasta. Gently toss to coat the vegetables. Mix in all but 1 tsp of the bacon. Stir in the parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper. Garnish with the remaining bacon and additional parsley. Makes 6 servings.

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