Appeasing my bacon obsession

Tue, 07/07/2009
I've had a love of bacon for as long as I can remember, and I probably come by it honest. My grandfather was a butcher and I grew up in the Midwest…so I am guessing I had ample access to bacon from a young age. I created this pasta dish as a play on a BLT sandwich. It turned out pretty tasty and works great as a light and portable summer dinner. The “L” in this case stands for “leaves” as in basil leaves. I used homemade pesto in this version to take advantage of our burgeoning basil supply, but store bought pesto would work just fine. BLT Pasta ½ pound of small pasta, such as rotini or wagon wheels (let your child(ren) pick, they’ll be more likely to eat it!) 8 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 2 – 15 ounce cans of roasted, diced tomatoes, drained (or roast your own, you will need about 4 cups) ½ small red onion, sliced 1 avocado, sliced Salt and pepper to taste Basil leaves to garnish 1 cup pesto Pesto: 1 cup of basil leaves, packed firm 2 cloves garlic 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated ¼ cup pine nuts or almonds ¼ cup olive oil Cook the bacon in the oven according to the package directions, making sure to use a rimmed baking sheet. If you are roasting your own tomatoes, you can place the tomatoes on the same pan to roast as you cook the bacon: While the bacon is cooking, boil the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, slice the red onion. Drain the pasta and combine the pasta and the red onion in a bowl. Drain the bacon and crumble well. Dice the tomatoes, if you roasted your own, otherwise add the canned tomatoes and bacon to the pasta mixture. Make the pesto. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add to the pasta bowl: You may serve the salad immediately or at room temperature. Add a few slices of thinly cut avocado to the top of each serving. Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 8 or more as a side. SPC