Creamy California Pasta Salad

Ok, ok, ok, I know this is totally a summer recipe and Starbucks has already come out with their Pumpkin Spiced Latte which means its "fall" but here in Southern California we have a (surprisingly) hot week with temperatures being 90+ (unheard of in coastal San Diego).  So with this heat wave I decided I can still make "summer" dinners even though it is September.  And with that, I give you my Creamy California Pasta Salad.  It's even better if you eat it on the beach!  It has to be like the easiest dinner there is, and the best part is, you can make it early and then eat it whenever you want!  And the leftovers the next day are just delish!

[What you Need]

1 box pasta (I always use rotini since that is what my mom always used for pasta salad)
1 can extra large olives, roughly chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 can kidney beans
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 avocados, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 lb bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
Ranch Dressing (I always use light ranch to pretend it's good for me)
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
parmesan cheese

[What to do]

Cook your bacon.  I always put it all on a foil lined baking sheet and then put it in the oven and turn it on to 400.  It is seriously the easiest way to cook bacon because you don't have to stand over the stove to cook it.  And the clean up, all you have to do is let the grease harden on the foil and then wrap it all up and throw it away!  Seriously, whoever came up with this method of cooking bacon is a genius.

While your bacon is cooking, boil your pasta according to the package.  When it is done, strain it, and run it under cold water until it is room temperature.  While the bacon is cooking and the pasta is cooking, chop all of your veggies and put them in a large bowl.  Then add in your pasta and chopped bacon when they are cooked.  Toss it all together with ranch dressing.  Then add in your crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper.

When everything is combined, seasoned, and dressed, place in the fridge for about an hour, or longer if you want to make it early and let it all chill.  Then top with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment