Pesto Pasta Salad with Crispy Bacon
There is no summer without a pesto pasta salad topped with a dash of crispy bacon!
Omg, I can’t believe I haven’t made a pasta recipe yet!!!
Banging my head against a wall right now…
I’m like the hugest fan of pasta in any shape or form. Ok, I’d probably choose any pasta over fettuccine, not fan of those – except homemade!
Today we’re making a freaking pesto pasta salad with crispy bacon, folks! And we’re making homemade pesto. How exciting is that!
I never, never, never buy pesto. It’s the easiest thing you can make, why buy it. I even have a trick for winter, when there’s no fresh basil. Every year I try to keep some basil in a pot in the kitchen over winter, but it ALWAYS dyes. 🙁 Boo hoo!
SIMPLE LONG-KEEP PESTO
So here’s the quick tip. Make a simple oil and salt only pesto at the peak of the season. Combine basil leaves with some salt and oil in a food processor and chop it up. It keeps in the fridge for over a year, but you’ll really need to be generous on salt otherwise it can spoil quickly.
That’s also my prefered metod of preserving basil. The taste is much more genuine than the dried one.
So, I want my salads to be fresh with loads of veggies, but there always have to be a goodie. Without an exeption! You know, the piece of feta cheese that’s basically the only reason you’re even eating a Greek salad. Or the pickle you’re dying to fish out of a Russian salad. Or apples in my delicious Millet and Carrot Salad with Creamy Almond Dressing. You see, every salad needs a goodie.
And here it’s CRISPY BACON!
I’m pretty sure my husband loves me more on days when I serve him bacon 🙂
It’s a perfect salad to serve at a picnic. It’s got pasta, tomatoes, bell peppers, mozzarella, pesto and bacon.
Refreshing but filling…
Who wouldn’t love that?!
Not only is this pasta salad super simple and obviously SOOO delicious, but it’s also vibrant and beautiful!
How awesome is that, right?
PESTO PASTA SALAD WITH CRISPY BACON
PESTO (~3/4 CUP)
- big handful basil
- 3 TBSP almonds
- 60 g parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 500 g whole grain pasta
- basil pesto
- 500 g cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 yellow or red bell peppers chopped
- 150 g small mozzarella balls halved
- 100 g bacon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- olive oil
- basil leaves for garnish
Combine basil, almonds, parmesan, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil one tablespoon at a time and mix until smooth. You'll probably need around 8 tablespoons. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente and rinse under cold water.
Place bacon strips into a large skillet and cook over low heat. When the meat starts to get dark red turn the stripes around with tongs. If there’s too much grease in the skilled, spoon it out. The bacon is done when it’s dark red on both sides. Move the stripes onto a plate covered with a paper towel and wait a couple of minutes until it crisps up. Then use your hands to break it apart into small pieces.
Put the pasta in a bowl and add the pesto. Mix it well.
Add tomatoes, peppers, mozzarella, half of the bacon, and lemon juice and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper and add a drizzle of olive oil if necessary.
Top with remaining bacon and basil leaves.