Bacon and Pesto Pasta Salad -


Bacon and Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 6 – 8

1 pound rotini

8 slices good quality smoked bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

1 cup thinly shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1 cup roasted red pepper strips (two 4-ounce jars)

½ cup thinly sliced red onion

½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a medium saucepan, cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain (but do not rinse) and transfer to a dish to cool to room temperature. The pasta can be chilled until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the bacon parmesan, roasted pepper slices, onion, and sun dried tomatoes.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the basil with the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and black pepper until well mixed. With the processor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube into the pesto and pulse until smooth. Spoon the pesto over the pasta mixture and toss until evenly coasted.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to three hours to give the flavors time to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature, garnished with parmesan.