BLT Pasta Salad

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It’s July!  How is it July already?  Wasn’t yesterday only like 2010?

This is a perfect July recipe because it screams summer.  This is a perfect 4th of July recipe because it is delicious and feeds a crap-ton of people.

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This BLT pasta salad takes all the elements of a great BLT-ripe tomatoes, greens, creamy tomato and crisp bacon- and puts them into a less messy, more crowd-friendly format.  Throw in some Gouda cheese and, chives and pour over a tart, creamy dressing and you’ve got yourself a party.

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Fusilli is my favorite pasta shape to use for this pasta salad because it really holds and hides that dressing in all its ridges.  Cherry tomatoes make this recipe possible all year.  It holds well in the fridge for a few days for all those late-night snack cravings (or for breakfast, lunch or dinner-been there).

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Do I even need to tell you how good this would be for a 4th of July party that you may be going to or hosting in a few days?  But definitely don’t limit yourself to just that party-this is perfect for any old day.  And it’s a “salad” so you can feel good about eating it, right?!  Who had the idea to call a carb-loaded pasta mixed with a bunch of dressing a salad?  Whoever it was, I love them.

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BLT Pasta Salad

  • Author: Amanda
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
  • Category: Salads

Description

This BLT pasta salad takes all the elements of a great BLT-ripe tomatoes, greens, creamy tomato and crisp bacon- and puts them into a less messy, more crowd-friendly format.  Throw in some Gouda cheese and, chives and pour over a tart, creamy dressing and you’ve got yourself a party.


Ingredients

SALAD:

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1 pound dried fusilli
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces baby spinach, chopped into ribbons
  • 4 ounces Gouda cheese, thinly sliced and cut into squares
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

DRESSING:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the bacon in a single layer.  Roast until the bacon is golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and throw a couple ice cubes in to cool it down; drain the pasta.  Quickly rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, but only just enough to cool the pasta down.  Try not to drown the pasta so some starch remains on the outside.  Drain well.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine well.  Taste and adjust for seasonings as necessary.  Add the drained pasta, cherry tomatoes, spinach, Gouda and chives and crumble the bacon on top.  Toss to thoroughly coat everything in the dressing.  If the dressing still looks too thick, add a little more pasta water until your desired consistency is reached, but be careful not to add too much as the tomatoes will give off some liquid as they sit.  Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld before serving.

Notes

 

Inspiration: BLT Pasta Salad on thekitchn.com

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