BLT Pasta Salad

With all of this cold weather, I find myself dreaming about summer and the food that goes with it.

During the summer Mike is in charge of the grill and I make the sides. I’m always looking for new ideas that taste good and are also on the healthier side.

Fortunately Frankie isn’t a picky eater so I don’t have to hide veggies in his food, they can be right out in the open. He often chooses them over everything else on his plate. I can tell you that this pasta will please even the pickiest of eaters!

This recipe includes cherry tomatoes, spinach (to substitute for the lettuce) and bacon! Yes, lots of bacon! Everything tastes better with bacon.. right?

I love bacon at all times, but I made this pasta when I was pregnant this summer and at that time I really really loved bacon! I would have added it to anything. I often sent Mike out on many a BLT run at all hours of the day and night.

So I thought, what about a BLT pasta salad??

With that this recipe was born!!

IMG_0953

BLT pasta salad

1 lb of pasta shells ( I used the mini)
12 slices of bacon sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
5 oz baby spinach
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

2. While pasta is cooking. Place chopped bacon in a large nonstick pan and cook until crisp. Remove from pan and place onto paper towel to drain excess grease. Save about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease dumping the rest.

3. In the same pan (with the 2 tbs of bacon grease) add tomatoes and garlic, cooking until tomatoes are slightly soft. About 2 minutes.

4. Drain the pasta keeping 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water. Return the drained pasta to the pot and add the spinach, bacon and tomato mixture with one cup of the reserved water and Parmesan cheese.

5. Stir well until spinach is welter and everything is well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining pasta water as needed.

Serve warm with additional Parmesan cheese for topping.

It is the perfect side for any dinner no matter the weather. Our family loved it and it will definitely have you thinking of summer days and barbecue dinners!

xo
Fran

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