BBT Summer Pasta Salad!

Bacon Basil and Tomato Pasta Salad
BBT?  Do you mean BLT?  Nope.
This is possibly the world’s best pasta salad.  It’s quick, it tastes super fresh and it’s inexpensive to make.  The flavors truly encompass summer.  At least they so for me.  Be forwarned.  This recipe is not how I lost 40 lbs in the last year.  LOL
But what’s the ‘B’ where the ‘L’ should be?
The secret ingredient is…
Basil!
Basil has a tendency to make everything it touches taste ‘Italian’, but I promise this pasta salad is miles away from Italian.  It’s cool, it’s creamy and it tastes like a BLT!
The players:
Elbow Macaroni
Mayo (I use Duke’s Light)
Bacon (I’m lazy and use Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked Bacon)
Red Wine Vinegar
Tomatoes (Fresh from my garden)
Basil (Fresh from my garden)
First things first, go ahead and start your pasta.  For this recipe, I used 8 oz of pasta (half a 1 lb box) but I went ahead and cooked the whole box.  You’re going to cook it according to the package directions.  The extra pasta will store fine in the fridge for a few days.  My kids like it heated with a little butter and Parmesan cheese.  The rest of your prep can be done while your pasta cooks!
Years ago, before I really learned anything about cooking, if a recipe called for a chopped tomato, I did just that.  I took a tomato and I chopped it.  The whole thing, less the stem of course.  Of the years, I’ve learned a lesson about tomatoes.  Seed them.  Always seed them.  A seeded tomato doesn’t add excess moisture or those pesky little seeds to recipes where they don’t belong.  The easiest way to seed a tomato is to cut the top and bottom off your tomato, split it down the middle and use a spoon the scrape out the seeds.  Once you’ve done that, place the halves skin side up and dice them up!  For this, I used 4 tomatoes.  I had three Roma and 1 Better Boy.
Bacon.
Who doesn’t love bacon?  Well, my thighs have a love-hate relationship with it.  That’s ok though.  I don’t eat it too terribly often, but when I do I opt for Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked Bacon. #1 – It’s easy.  #2 – There’s no greasy mess to deal with.  #3 – It’s actually healthier than buying raw bacon and frying it.  I used 10 slices of bacon.  I simply pulled it out of the package, still cold, and chopped the heck out of it.
For the dressing, I started with a half cup of Duke’s Light Mayo.  I know you can only get Duke’s in the south, so use what you can get.  In my opinion, Kraft if the next best option.  If you want, you could sub in a little fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt here, but I personally want the mayo.
To the mayo, add 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar.  If you decide to use sour cream or Greek yogurt, I would probably skip this.  Those are already tart on their own and I think this might be overkill.
Add some salt and pepper to taste, then give it a really good stir.  Add the dressing, along with the tomato and bacon, to your drained pasta.
Here’s where the basil comes in.  No chopping, no cutting.  Just pluck the leaves, give them a quick tear to release the oils, and drop it in the pot.  You’ll want a good little mound of it.
Stir, stir, stir!
That’s it.  Seriously.  How easy is that?  Of course, you’ll want to taste test it at least 2 or three times.  Maybe 4.  It took every ounce of self control I could muster to cover this and put it in the refrigerator to chill.  What I really wanted to do was grab a spoon (a big one) and curl up on the couch with the pot of pasta salad.  Alas, better judgement did prevail and there was plenty of pasta salad left when my husband came home from work.
This will be made again.  Often.
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28 Responses to BBT Summer Pasta Salad!

  1. Can i switch to turkey bacon? And i don’t especially love mayo, but if i can do the yogurt you have me won over. Yum!

  2. You are so funny! I fear I would throw better judgement out the window if I were put in the same situation. It looks so yummy!

  3. Since BLTs are just about one of my most favorite things, especially this summer (weird, huh?) I know I would love, love, love this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    Popping by from Hines-Sight Blog’s linky party to say Hi!

  4. You had me “bacon”! I’m loving BLTs and tomato pies so this will be great to throw in to mix things up.
    I came over via Hines-Sight Blog.

  5. Hines-Sight says:

    Thanks sharing your recipe with us today. The link will be open until 8/15 if you have any more, and I would love if it you could link back to my blog so more people could learn about the link up, and get some recipes.

    A BLT salad would hit the spot for lunch today.

  6. Silverfaerie says:

    What a great recipe! Plus, you can make it and have it in the fridge for a super tasty but quick snack between meals too!

    I’ve never used the fully-cooked bacon before. I think I’ve been afraid to haha. Maybe I’ll try it now, since you’ve stated how easy and non-greasy it is.

    I’ve like you on FB and I stumbled this post. It’d be great if you would check out my post and stumble it too! Thanks!

    http://silverfaeries-dragonflies.blogspot.com/2011/07/diy-dressformattempt-1.html

  7. Wendy says:

    Stumbled your post. Mine is Easy Beer Biscuits

    Would love to have you link up to Turning the Table Thursday with this or any other recipe!

    Wendy
    Around My Family Table

  8. Amee says:

    Hi, I enjoyed your article and stumbled, have a nice day. Amee at http://www.madamedeals.com

  9. This looks so good! I’d have to use miracle whip (light of course) and garden fresh tomatoes. YUM!

    Tina “The Book Lady” is following you from Stumble Tumble – would love a follow back at:
    http://familyliteracyandyou.blogspot.com/2011/08/summer-book-club-wk-8-my-forever.html

  10. aquariann says:

    Yummy salad recipe!!

    Btw, I stumbled this! Please stumble Bee Upon Lavender back.

  11. Trish says:

    I am so going to make this! It looks delish and even better something my boys would eat. Stopping by from http://www.MomOnTimeout.com. Stumbled your post :)

  12. Candice says:

    Mmmm…bacon! Thanks for stumbling by my blog!

    http://wherenothinggoodcomeseasy.blogspot.com/

  13. Julia says:

    You had me at bacon, but I love basil too! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ve stumbled this post!
    http://confessionsofafrugalmind.blogspot.com/

  14. About A Mom says:

    That looks wonderful! Thanks for stopping by today. I am following & stumbled this post!

  15. My boys would LOVE this dish.

    Thanks for stopping by and stumbling on my blog. I’ve returned the favor.

  16. It looks good! Mmm & I stumbled this post :)

  17. Looks yummy! Stumbled your post!

  18. Looks delicious! I LOVE anything BLT, even if it is BBT, LOL.

    I found your post on the Wired Wednesday Blog Hop!

  19. I love pasta salad…..add bacon…..HEAVEN!! LOL! Thanks for the recipe, it looks great.

    Thank you for stopping by and participating in the Get Wired Wednesday Blog Hop. I am following you.

    Vickie
    http://victoriasvoice44.blogspot.com

  20. New follower from the Get Wired Wednesday blog hop! Please follow back! Thanks! :)
    Through the Eyes of a Tiger

  21. That sounds SO good. It’s perfect for summer cookouts – or anytime I suppose LOL.

  22. Danielle says:

    This looks and sounds delicious! I love pasta salads!

  23. Astrid says:

    This sounds yummy. I love basil. It truly adds to the taste of the pasta salad.

  24. Carly says:

    Oh YUM!

  25. Jamie says:

    This reminds me of a macaroni salad my mom would always make, minus the bacon…it was always our favorite…I’ll have to add the bacon to mine!

  26. Laura says:

    Not a salad person, but I know plenty of people who would love this!

  27. Pingback: 25+ 4th of July Recipes - A Dose of Paige

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