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Tomato & Bacon Pasta Twist Salad



I am a huge fan of pasta salads.  For one thing you have a multitude of shapes and sizes of pasta available to use in them.  Secondly, unlike potatoes, you simply boil pasta and drain it. There is no peeling or chopping involved.  Just boil, drain and add to your dressing or whatever.  Cooked pasta makes a fabulous base for a multitude of flavours and textures!


When I worked at the Manor, one of their favourite pre-dinner drinks nibbles that I would prepare for their dinner parties was these fabulous little cherry tomatoes, that I hollowed out and then filled with a mix of finely chopped cooked bacon, spring onions and mayonnaise. This salad is  bit of a riff on that.


Without all the faffing about of hollowing and draining cherry tomatoes.  In this salad you simply cut them in half.  I got some lovely cherry tomatoes at Costco the other day, a mix of yellow and red, and they are fabulously tasty.  I have been really enjoying eating them out of hand and they added a lovely mix of colours to this salad.


I used pasta twists because they really know how to hug a salad dressing, with lots of nooks and crannies to hang onto every smidgen of it.  And you will love the dressing, which is a delicious mix of mayonnaise and blue cheese dressing . . .  some cider vinegar, seasoning and a bit of sugar. YUM!



There is also plenty of bacon as well. A full pound.  Make sure you get it nice and crispy, so that it crumbles well.  Limp bacon doesn't work well in this.  Crisp is the way to go.  Make sure you remember to save some out to garnish the top of the salad.  I forgot, and so what you see here are bacon salad sprinkles, which do provide crunch and flavour, but I really prefer the real thing.


Another essential element is the spring onions.  Finely chopped, the white and light green parts, on up into the dark green, but I tend to cut off and discard the really dark green and tougher bits of the spring onions.  I believe you call them Scallions in North America, or green onions. 



There is also some celery which adds a lovely crunch and extra texture.  I love the celery this time of year.  It has a nice and mild flavour, unlike the celery from later in the season which is much stronger in taste. You want to use the milder celery as you don't want the flavor to be too over-powering.


There should be an equal balance of flavours and textures in this.  If you are making the salad ahead of time, then do hold back some of the dressing to stir into it just prior to serving.  It will absorb the dressing as it sits, so if you want it to be creamy, save a bit aside until just before you put it out for eating!  Your guests/family will love this!


*Tomato & Bacon Pasta Twist Salad*
Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish


Fresh cherry tomatoes and plenty of savoury bacon in a refreshingly tasty pasta salad, with a mild blue cheese dressing. What's not to like? 


225g of Pasta Twists (2 cups)
4 to 5 spring onions, washed, trimmed and chopped
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved (about 2 cups)
 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1 pound of streaky smoked bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
240g of good quality mayonnaise (1 cup)
60g of blue cheese dressing (1/4 cup)
2 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish 




Cook your pasta according to the package directions.  Drain well.  Rise in cold water and drain again.  Set aside.
 

Whisk the mayonnaise, blue cheese dressing, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together in a serving bowl.   Stir in the spring onions.   Add the cooked pasta and cherry tomatoes.  Toss to coat well.   Cover and chill for at least an hour.   Remove and stir in 3/4 of the bacon.  Sprinkle the remainder on top along with some chopped fresh parsley.   Serve.
 
 

I served this the other day to some hungry missionaries and they licked the bowl clean. They really loved it.  That makes me happy when the food I prepare is so well received.  That always makes all my work more than worth the effort!  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
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2 comments:

  1. Costco brought a lot of flavor to our dishes..off season..their tomatoes are grand! Strawberries..Avos..so many good products.This looks delicious!

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    1. OH yes, the tomatoes and other fresh produce at Costco are just wonderful. I love their cherry tomatoes Monique! So tasty! This is a fabulous salad! xo

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