I made this BLT pasta salad on Memorial Day and meant to post it before the 4th of July. I didn't get around to posting it for a lot of reasons, but not because it wasn't blog worthy. I bookmarked it in the previous issue of Food TV magazine as soon as I saw it because I liked the different take on pasta salad. Also, I previously mentioned my dislike of raw tomatoes, and was drawn to this recipe because the tomatoes are cooked in the bacon drippings prior to adding them to the salad. I substituted grape tomatoes cut in half because I prefer their flavor.
This was quite tasty and easy to put together. The recipe makes a huge amount making it great for cookouts and pot lucks. I think it would be fun to pair this deconstructed BLT salad with a BLT sandwich.
BLT Pasta Salad
Food Network magazine
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 mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion greens
5 heads Bibb lettuce, quartered, or 5 cups chopped romaine hearts
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as the label directs. Drain and toss with the milk in a large bowl; 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 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-size pieces; set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Toss the remaining bacon and the tomato mixture with the pasta.
Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and 3 tablespoons chives with the pasta until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce; toss again to coat. Garnish with the reserved bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Serve at room temperature.