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Author Notes: Nothing says summer to me like fresh home grown tomatoes straight out of the garden, sweet and juicy. And frankly, adding bacon to anything is good in my book. When the days are longer, and I want to enjoy my back patio as much as possible, I love to grill and I love simple pasta salads that can either stand alone or double as a side dish....Hence this salad was born. If you are not a fan of mayonnaise, you can use pesto instead and the salad will take on a new character. —Linthecity
Makes 1 big bowl
- 1 pound Pasta (Shells, Farfalle, Orecchiette)
- 1 pound Thick cut bacon
- 2 cups Grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 3 cups Fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Lemon - Juice and zest
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cut bacon into ¼ inch pieces and render over medium low heat until fairly crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside.
- While the bacon is cooking, prepare the pasta as directed on the package. You can use any type of pasta, but you want something that will catch some of the bacon in “pockets”. For this reason, my favorites to use are orecchiette or farfalle pasta, although in this case, I used penne, which also worked just fine.
- After you drain the pasta, toss it with 1 Tbls of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together and let the pasta cool for at least 20 minutes.
- Toss the pasta, bacon, tomatoes, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and lemon zest together and fold in the fresh spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Chill and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mayonnaise-Based Salad