Sunday, August 7, 2016

Basil, Bacon and Bowtie Pasta Salad

I love perusing Pinterest in search of some new and tasty dinner recipe to try. I was searching for a new pasta salad recipe to test as we get in a rut sometimes, and change is good, right? Warm weather calls for cool but flavorful meals. I came across a BLT pasta salad recipe that had some possibilities, but Nature Guy and I both agreed that the lettuce would most likely end up wilted before we finished the salad. Not a huge fan of soggy lettuce, I decided to go with the bacon and tomato in the salad and come up with my own recipe, leaving out the lettuce.

We are fortunate to have an abundance of fresh Basil right now, along with fresh parsley. The squashes are starting to encumber their vines with multiple succulent fruit, so I was in luck for more fresh goodness to toss in. A nice feature of this salad is that with the pepper bacon, herbs, and dressing, there is no need for extra seasoning. This recipe is for 4 servings, which for us gives us two meals without leftovers going on forever. Enough of the blathering, here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Basil, Bacon and Bowtie Pasta Salad

1 1/2 cups bowtie pasta cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled
2 strips of thick pepper bacon, cooked until crisp, and crumbled
1/3 cup chopped purple onion
1/2 medium yellow zucchini or squash, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
1 1/4 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup fresh cooked or frozen green peas, thawed ( you can place them in the colander and pour the hot cooked pasta over them, to help them thaw quickly)
1/2 cup real mayo (seriously, don't ruin a good thing with low or non fat mayo. If you are worried, use 1/4 each plain non fat yogurt and mayo, stirred together)
1/4 cup Ken's Steakhouse Italian dressing (we used the lite version, which only has fat reduced, no gross chemical taste) 
1/4 cup each fresh minced basil and parsley 

Cook pasta according to package directions. I usually place frozen veggies in the colander and drain my pasta into it to help thaw them. Stir together under cold water and drain. In a medium bowl combine pasta, peas, cooked, crumbled bacon, onion, tomato, squash and minced herbs, then toss gently. Stir together the mayonnaise and Italian dressing. Pour over salad and gently toss. Serves 4

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