Five star, family approved. One serving is all it took. Wheels and Bytes both rated it five stars and suggested demanded it be added to our menu frequently. On our recent trip, I made and served this for several family gatherings. It was a hit each time!
The whole thing can be assembled in about twenty minutes. I like to make this salad in the summer because I know I can get two meals out of one short cooking session. I divide the pasta salad in half and only add the lettuce to the half we are going to eat. Hide the keeper half in the bottom right hand corner of the refrigerator where tall left handed people never look, if you want it to survive for that second meal. Add another teaspoon of lemon juice if you like a little zing in the dressing. I have also made dressing using half sour cream and half mayo, giving a slightly “softer” flavor (and saving an emergency trip to the grocery). We grow cherry tomatoes so I use them instead of seeding and dicing a large tomato. Cut larger grape or cherry tomatoes in half to keep them bite sized. I also like that this uses shredded lettuce. You hardly know that it is there but it adds volume and therefore reduces carb and calorie count quite a bit. Be sure to cook the pasta only until it is al dente – still rather firm when you bite it. I used shell pasta here because that was what was in the cupboard, but most of the time use bowtie pasta. Rotini or penne also work with this recipe.
I have purchased two packages of turkey bacon in my life. On sale as a buy one get one deal not too long ago. I don’t remember what I made with the first package but decided there are certain expectations that can’t be met when you send a turkey to do a pig’s job! Earlier this summer, I ran across the second package in the freezer with this salad in mind. The “can’t waste a thing” gene kicked in so I brought the bacon upstairs, thawed it, then browned it in the skillet. This wonderful salad surrounded it with all the other good flavors and made it part of the family. It was good.
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