Friday, October 7, 2011
This crowd friendly pasta salad puts a spin the traditional BLT by turning it into a pasta salad. It can be made ahead and served cold or served warm right after you make it. It makes a huge batch and even tastes great the next day as leftovers. I added chopped avocado the next day we ate it and it made this yummy salad even more delicious, so if you like avocado I would recommend putting it in your salad from the beginning.
BLT Pasta Salad
From a bird and a bean
Makes 12 servings
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 freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup mayo (for a lighter version use 1/4 cup mayo and 1/4 cup greek yogurt)
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped chives (I used green onions)
5 cups lettuce (Bibb or romaine) chopped
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, as the package directs. Drain and toss with the milk in a large bowl and 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 of 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 sized pieces, setting aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Toss the remaining bacon and the tomato mixture with the pasta.
Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, and three tablespoons of chives with the pasta until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce and toss again to coat.
Garnish with the reserved bacon, remaining 1 tablespoon chives, and avocado. Serve at room temperature. Note: if going to refrigerate and serve later make sure to reserve the lettuce, along with the avocado, 1/4 cup of bacon garnish and 1 tablespoon chives to add in right before serving!