A delicious pasta salad that is great for a side or a light meal

Tales of the Dinner Belle

By Brenda Stanley

I love pasta, even when it’s not the main dish.  My BLT pasta salad is a cool and delicious addition especially when your main dish is grilled meat, chicken, or fish. The combination of flavors is similar to a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. The vinaigrette dressing adds a tasty tang and this salad is easy to put together. Make it in advance and let all those flavors marinate together, then just toss with the lettuce right before serving and you have a delicious and hearty salad that can be a side dish or even a light meal.

Belle’s BLT Pasta Salad

2 cups of rotini or spiral pasta

1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

½ cup bacon crumbles

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed

3 cups chopped lettuce (romaine and iceberg work best)

In a large pot, cook the pasta for 8 minutes in boiling, salted water.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.  Add the bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce to the bowl and toss to combine.  Drizzle the remaining dressing over top and toss to coat.