I did have to make a dish to share, and given my recent passion for pasta salad, I chose a BLT Pasta Salad, found in the latest issue of Cuisine at Home. I loved all the ingredients and I've been wanting to try out the campanelle pasta, so it was a perfect fit. I mean how can you go wrong when there are bacon drippings in the dressing?
This is the smaller batch that I brought to our neighbors for them to try. I tried a small sample of this before putting the rest of it in the refrigerator without the bacon. I do this with all pasta salads so they can cool and the dressing has time to come together. I have to say, it was much better fresh, not chilled. Something happens to the dressing after it's chilled and it loses a lot of the bacon flavor that it has when it's fresh. So, while it was still a great salad, I'll know better for next time.
BLT Pasta Salad with creamy bacon dressing
1 lb. dry campanelle pasta
1 lb. thick sliced bacon, diced
1/2 c. mayo
2 tbsp. minced shallots
2 tbsp. minced fresh basil
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups halved grape tomatoes
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Transfer pasta to a bowl of ice water, drain well.
Cook bacon in large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Reserve 3 tbsp. drippings; set aside to cool.
Whisk together mayo, reserved drippings, shallots, basil, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Stir in pasta, romaine, tomatoes and bacon; toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper.
*** I'm quite certain I broke a few copyright laws, but there are no links to recipes on their website, and I did provide the link to that, it counts a little - right? I'm slightly frustrated by the fact that I actually had to retype all that... Shhh, don't tell!