the best BLT pasta salad

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The best BLT pasta salad

I’ve been on a healthier eating journey the whole year and one of the foods I miss the most is pasta. It’s the one thing I want to eat all the time and it’s the one thing I have cut back on heavily. I certainly wouldn’t make a pasta salad, preferring to indulge in something warm, slurpy and comforting. However, when I stumbled on the idea to do this BLT version, I could not resist. A BLT sandwich is right up there amongst my favourites so this all made total sense to me. Maybe because I’m slightly deprived of pasta these days but I’m going to put it right out here and say that this BLT pasta salad is the best pasta salad I have ever tasted or made.

The best BLT pasta salad

I’m totally in love with the salad dressing too. I decided to incorporate a few elements from my all-time favourite Caesar salad dressing which I make all the time. Namely anchovies and a few basil leaves. I added less of each and it gives this dressing a delicious flavour boost.

The best BLT pasta salad & dressing

I used good quality white wine vinegar as the acid component, which I think, works better with tomatoes than lemon. The yoghurt lightens it up, and I used a lower-fat Hellman’s mayo (Lite)– which is my favourite mayo If I’m not making my own from scratch. I made a little more dressing than you need and you are going to thank me for this when you make it.  I used about ¾ of the dressing for the salad.

The best BLT pasta salad

My house has been filled with the most incredible ZZ2 tomatoes at the moment because I’ve been working on two recipes for them. This Medley Mix and their Spanish Santé tomatoes are my favourite tomatoes in South Africa.

The best BLT pasta salad

Of course, the other component that makes this salad so delicious is the crispy bacon, another rare treat. I roasted them in the oven for 15 minutes until the fat had rendered to a golden crispness and they gave this salad an amazing crunch.

The best BLT pasta salad

As for the choice of which short pasta to use, fusilli is my absolute best here. It has so many grooves where all the deliciousness can get trapped.

The best BLT pasta salad
The best BLT pasta salad
The best BLT pasta salad
The best BLT pasta salad
The best BLT pasta salad
The best BLT pasta salad

This is enough to feed 2 greedy people, or 3 comfortably. It could do 4 as a generous side and 6 as a small side along with a few other dishes.

The best BLT pasta salad

Recipe – BLT pasta salad – The best ever

the best BLT pasta salad

The best pasta BLT salad with spinach that is the perfect side for a BBQ or braai
Print Recipe
The best BLT pasta salad

Ingredients

Dressing

  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup low fat Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • a few basil leaves – about 6 medium
  • 2 Tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • Generous few grinds of black pepper

Pasta salad

  • 250 gms fusilli pasta or any other short pasta
  • 250 gms Medley of tomatoes mixed baby rainbow tomatoes
  • 250 gm streaky smoked bacon 1 pack
  • 60 gms baby spinach leaves
  • 20 gms chives finely chopped
  •  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200c/ 400F and place the bacon on a bacon tray. Line the tray with foil to make washing up easier. When the oven is ready, roast the bacon for 15 minutes and until golden brown and crispy
  • Bring a medium pot of salty water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to suspend the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  • Cut the tomatoes and the chives and set them aside.
  • To make the dressing blitz all the ingredients in a small food processor until smooth and emulsified.
  • When you are ready to serve, toss all the salad ingredients with as much of the dressing as you like. I used about ¾ of it. Adjust the seasoning and if necessary add more salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
  • This salad can be made in advance but the spinach leaves will wilt and the bacon will lose its crunch. You could make the rest in advance and then add the spinach & bacon just before. This is totally up to you.
Author: Sam Linsell

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This pasta BLT salad would be perfect served at a braai / BBQ.

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The best BLT pasta salad

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2 Comments

  1. Oh, I love everything about this salad! The salad AND the dressing, which is equally important to me. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Mimi – that salad dressing is giving me life

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