BLT Pasta Salad

by Sarah on July 17, 2012

A few things happened on the way to this salad.

1)  We picked our first tomatoes from the garden.  2)  I picked up my “pork share”, which included 2 slabs of unsliced bacon.  3)  I was in possession of a day-old end of a loaf of Pugliese bread.  4)  And lastly, and this should come to no surprise to you, Readers, that I had very little else in my house in the way of groceries.

I spent most of the day taking care of household tasks and home improvements.  We are still plodding along with the fix-up of the former Room of Doom, aka The Place Where the Teenagers Used to Hang Out.  This weekend involved some painting (Thanks Jenn for helping me!), floor installation and window trimming (Thanks Guido!), refreshing of a shelving unit that is going to be the next home to my vast collection of cookbooks and no less than three trips to a hardware store.  Next steps are new countertops, a teensy bit of painting the trim, making some curtains and then the fun part of putting all our stuff away in it’s new home.  It’s a lot of work but it will be so worth it.  The only downside is that doing all this stuff on the weekends doesn’t allow for much time for complicated cooking projects.

So thankfully this tasty morsel doesn’t take any time at all.  I basically dreamed it up in the car on the ride home from picking up my 30 pounds of pork and it was on my plate soon after.

I made this as a pasta salad with croutons but I think that it would be wonderful as a panzanella-type salad, omitting the pasta altogether and just going with bread.  Just try to banish any thoughts of the evils of carbohydrates.  This one little salad is worth it.

I didn’t take an ingredients photo this time but it’s easy enough to remember.  Pasta, tomatoes (from your garden if possible!), a big handful of good lettuce, a smidge of red onion and some crispy lardons (bacon cubes–if you only have sliced bacon, just make small slices 1/4″).  The best part is that you save that bacon fat and keep it on the stove over medium heat.  Add bread cubes and toss about until browned and toasty.  Don’t skip that step or this salad will only be a little bit good.  Add bacon croutons and it gains some kind of super power.

The dressing is an easy one too.  Mayo, the juice of a lemon, a handful of chopped basil.  Black pepper and a pinch of salt.

Too delicious NOT to try.

BLT Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound dried pasta, boiled in salted water, drained and rinsed with cold water (I used rigatoni)
  • 4-5 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4" pieces, reserve fat in pan
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped or sliced if using smaller tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup chopped red onions
  • 1-1/2 cup chopped lettuce (I used red leaf)
  • 3 1"-thick slices of Pugliese bread or similar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups mayo
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 6 leaves of basil, chopped
  • salt, pepper


  • To make dressing, place mayo in a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice. Add the basil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Cook the bacon over medium-low heat so that it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan. Keep pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and toast. Toss occasionally. When browned and crisp, turn off heat.
  • Pour the cooked and rinsed pasta into a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Add the bacon, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and croutons. Toss again and taste, checking the seasoning. Adjust if necessary.

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