Saturday, April 24, 2010

BLT pasta salad

BLT's are one of the best sandwiches ever, in my humble opinion. That is what I planned on making for dinner the night this delightful salad was created. Imagine my dismay when I realized that I was out of bread (and making a new loaf is a 6-8+ hour job so just whipping a loaf up wasn't happening!), out of lettuce and only had cherry tomatoes. Basically all I had was the bacon. Since I had already primed my taste buds for BLTs I had to do something with the same flavors or else my mouth would be mad at me. And no one wants an angry mouth.

Pasta I had. Lots of it, thanks to an awesome sale recently. I decided to transform my BLT sandwich to a BLT pasta salad. I chose Ronzoni Smart Taste for its added fiber, calcium and overall good taste. The Ronzoni Smart Taste is a white pasta so the kids will eat it, and it really looks & tastes like the original stuff, something that whole wheat pasta doesn't do. The cherry tomatoes are way better suited for a salad than a sandwich, this was working out well. I was still out of lettuce but being a Kitchen Witch, I decided to use fresh spinach leaves in the lettuces stead. Chiffonade cut on the spinach gives it a delicate look and helps distribute the greens better than chunks of spinach ever could. A touch of bacon, onions, cheese and a cream dressing. Dinner is served!

BLT pasta salad
serves 4 as a side dish
4 strips bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
10-12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
15 leaves spinach cut chiffonade
1/2 box pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste rotini)
2 T your favorite buttermilk/ranch dressing
2 T sour cream
2 oz extra sharp cheddar cut into 1/2 inch dice

Cut bacon into small pieces. Cook over medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet. When bacon is about 1/2 done add the onion and finish cooking. Remove and drain bacon and onions once bacon is crisp and onions have browned.

Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain then cool pasta with cold water to stop cooking. Drain well.

Wash spinach leaves then gather up into a small pile. Tightly roll the leaves to form a cigar shape. Take your knife and slice the spinach roll into very thin strips. This is called chiffonade - a french term for ribbons, which is essentially what you're doing, cutting the spinach into ribbons.

Quarter the tomatoes and dice the cheese. In a large mixing bowl put the pasta, bacon & onions, spinach, tomatoes and cheese. Mix the sour cream and dressing together then pour over the salad. Toss the salad to evenly coat all pieces with dressing.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 313.3
Total Fat 13.9 g
Saturated Fat 5.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 22.9 mg
Sodium 317.0 mg
Potassium 379.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Sugars 2.2 g
Protein 14.7 g


Raina said...

That looks fantastic! I love, love, love BLT's. I also love pasta salad. Thanks for the great recipe and the pasta tip. My kids do not like whole wheat pasta. So I will give that a try.

Do you have an e.mail address on here? I was trying to find it because I wanted to e.mail you about the awards and to let you know to not feel obligated to put them on your blog. I just liked the opportunity I was given to give the blogs I really like a shout out.

StephenC said...

Great idea to use spinach. I think it would be fabulous too with baby arugula. However, like me, a person doesn't want to have to go to the store for one thing when another will suffice.

Baking Addict said...

Was just wondering what I should have for dinner tonight - was thinking of a pasta dish but sadly won't be BLT as I don't have any bacon and can't be bothered to run to the store. I'll just pretend I'm having your BLT instead :)

Megan Carroll said...

Nice adaptations!

Jenn said...

I was just putting BLT's on this weeks menu!! Now I know what to do with the left over bacon! Ok, so there probably won't be any leftover, but IF there is.... mmmmmm.... pasta!!! Looks fantastic Andrea!

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

Isn't it fun to make something out of your head? When I was in Greece, we started to make Pasta al Greco which was basically a Greek salad sauted and tossed with pasta. Sprinkle with feta. Delish!

Tonya said...

This look delicious and a great dish for summer. Thanks!

Julia said...

I love everything about this. Spinach, bacon and cheddar is one of my favorite combos. And pasta IS my favorite food. Done and done. For sure gonna make this on a warm summer night!

Teauna said...

This is FOR SURE getting bookmarked! Looks so darn good! Perhaps I'll be serving this at my Mom's birthday party in a couple of weeks?! She LOVES BLT's.... Thank ya!!!

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