Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone! Here’s hoping you all had a great weekend!
Before I dive right into my e-mails, early morning meetings and phone calls at the office- I thought I’d share a quick and easy recipe I tried out this past weekend for an afternoon cookout at a friend’s house (the first of many this coming season, I’m sure!)
I’m a big fan of the simplicity of BLTs for lunch- but I also think a backyard BBQ isn’t quite the same without a chilled pasta salad available as a side. This recipe combines the two- the minimal ingredients of the sandwich but with a more filling pasta substituted in place of the bread and a bit more flavor with a creamy and tangy dressing mixed in. Add some avocado and you’ve got yourself a hit for your next early-Summer gathering!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 pound pasta (your choice! I used penne.)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- 1 avocado, diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into small wedges
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the bacon on the baking sheet; season generously with black pepper. Bake until the bacon is crisp, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the pan from the oven and cool completely.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, tomato, avocado and romaine. Crumble the bacon into the salad.
- If serving immediately, add the dressing and toss well to coat. Or leave undressed and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
This pasta salad was so good- and was a fun and flavorful spin on the usual macaroni salads I typically see at cookouts and backyard BBQs. Any leftovers (and there wasn’t much!) were placed back in an airtight container and refrigerated- and tasted just as good on Sunday during an indoor lunch when the weather didn’t hold out as planned.
I’m thinking I’ll be making another batch of this for my co-workers when we have our pre-Memorial Day weekend luncheon in a couple of weeks. Anything with bacon and avocado is sure to be a hit!
Try to enjoy your Monday, everyone! Let’s make it to the weekend!
– Ashley –