Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BLT Pasta Salad

Fresh tomatoes just SCREAM summertime!!! I can hardly wait to eat vine ripened fresh tomatoes. I'm still having to pick them up at the market. Heartbreaking really. I love the smell of a sun kissed tomato.
If anyone could grow a tomato, it was my grandma and grandpa....on my mom's side. THE best grandparents too, by the way. As a little girl, I remember getting to help them pick a few tomatoes, you know, when they were ripe. Although, I do remember getting carried away and picking some green ones. I don't recall getting in trouble though. Must've been my cuteness. :) On a side note, I can't recall "helping" pick tomatoes again, after that.

I spent many of my teenage summers visiting western Kentucky, sitting at a newspaper covered dining room table, shelling peas into a bucket, while my grandma stewed tomatoes for her homemade spaghetti sauce and perfected the canning process. Ah, the days of drinking out of a waterhose, hanging laundry in the sun, and watching lightening bugs.

My mom can make a mean BLT and I grew up eating those pretty regularly. Some toasty bread, plenty of mayo, crispy bacon, a fresh from the garden tomato, and crisp lettuce....I'm all nostalgic. (Although, I don't recall my parent's having a vegetable garden. It was more like a tomato patch in the yard....and it was delicious.)

Well, a BLT pasta salad is the next great thing. Take all of those great flavors and mixing them into a spicy mayo. Yum!!

8 oz. pasta (shells, rotini, or macaroni work best) cooked and drained
8-10 slices of crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup mayo (I like Duke's Mayo the best.)
1/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp instant chicken bouillon
2 tsp sugar
1 tomato seeded, chopped
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 cups lettuce shredded

In a large bowl, combine mayo, chili sauce, lemon juice, bouillon and sugar. Stir in cooked pasta, tomato and onions. Cover and chill. Just before serving, stir in lettuce and bacon.

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