Sunday, April 24, 2011

BLT Pasta Salad

Miss me? Let's catch up over this cool and creamy pasta salad. Spring is in full swing here and the rising temperatures have me craving cool treats, crunchy veggies, and salad. But of course I couldn't keep it light and healthy, could I? This BLT version of pasta salad is tossed with 2 pounds of bacon and dressed with ranch and a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Oh yeah and there's spinach and tomatoes in there too- just to keep the illusion alive that you just might be eating something healthy.

BLT Pasta Salad
(printable recipe)

2 lbs. thick cut bacon
1 lb. bowtie pasta
2 pints grape tomatoes, sliced in half
9 oz bag baby spinach
ranch dressing
1/2 c parmesan cheese
pepper to taste

Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta. Boil uncovered for 11 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
Wilt the spinach 1 of three ways:
-Add to the still hot pot with drained pasta, cover, toss and let stand 10 minutes (this is what I did this time around)
-Wilt with bacon grease
-Microwave on a plate in 3 batches for 2 minutes
Combine pasta, wilted spinach, crumbled bacon, and tomatoes. Toss with enough ranch dressing to moisten to your liking. Sprinkle on parmesan and plenty of fresh ground pepper, mix well. Chill for at least two hours before serving.