Several years ago, my sister made a pasta salad at one of our family gatherings. This is a take of that popular BLT pasta salad. The original of course had lettuce to round out the bacon, tomato, and mayo traditionally found in a BLT sandwich. I however don’t really care for lettuce and pasta together. I decided to take the parts of the BLT pasta and make a different version.
It’s called summer pasta of course, because not only is it best with fresh cherry tomatoes grown during summer. But also, because it is the perfect dish or side dish when the temperatures outside make you crave cool food. I will often make a large bowl that can sit in the fridge for a few days allowing us to have a quick lunch on hand. It is one of my boys number one requested dish during the hot summer months.
We often make this as a side dish as well. It goes great with ham and cheese sliders or any sandwich of your liking.
A few tips when making this:
- Be sure to not overcook your pasta. It needs to be al dente and have the ability to hold up when you stir in the other ingredients.
- Cool the pasta well. That will prevent the mayonnaise from melting.
- Cook the bacon in the oven on a wire rack over a tray. This will allow all the excess fat to cook off. You want the bacon to be crispy when you cut it, because it will naturally soften in the pasta. And you don’t want it to end up mushy because it started out too soft.
- Use a good quality cheese. We get ours in bulk from a food supplier, but you can find some really good ones in the specialty cheese section. Although you may have to grate your own from there.
Hopefully those tips will help you out and you can make this for your next picnic or gathering during the summer. Enjoy!
- 1 ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 6 cups cooked bowtie pasta roughly ½ a box
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup cooked bacon coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp salt and pepper
- Boil the pasta, drain from water, and set out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet to cool. Wash, dry, and slice the tomatoes into half. (You can slice round or length wise, it is your choice) Cook bacon to a fully crisp texture, then cut into tiny pieces.
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients adding your salt and pepper last to your liking. If your bacon is salty enough, you may want to leave out the salt. Start with the three tablespoons of mayonnaise, but feel free to add more if it seems too dry. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.