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BLT Pasta Salad

I think the best medicine for a family is to be trapped in a car together for a very long time.

A very, very long time.

After 3 long years of having Ryan in law school, and 15-hour days of his full-time work plus Bar Prep study since early June, I felt like we're stuck in survival-mode. I ached for Ryan, but we pushed through together, and proved ourselves a pretty good team. Soon after graduation, I learned quickly that this crazy rodeo we've found ourselves in wasn't over. The even-harder part was about to begin, and we'd see him even less. Ryan has been as sweet as always, and calls me around dinnertime, but I felt like in order to get through everything, I had to crust over in order to get through those long days without him.

So instead of dreading the long car ride up to Pendleton Oregon this past weekend for a wedding, I was excited! 9 hours both ways? Trapped in a car with each other? Sign me up!

You'd think we'd go crazy, and have the usual family-trapped-in-a-car-too-long-together-apocalypse, but really...

It actually was the most fun we've had all summer.

We talked about our future home and what life will be like after the Bar Exam, and after his clerkships are finished. We talked about how we wanted to grow a garden together in our future backyard someday, and places we'd love to visit together. We talked about our 6th wedding anniversary coming up next month. We talked about finances, our families, and how much we're going to miss our sweet little home when we move this weekend.

We talked about everything.  It was nice to grow back into ourselves again. I was able to soften that hard shell I lived in, and we became that giggly couple of fools we once knew.

- - -

I've made a BLT-Pasta dish before. It was more of a tomato-cream base, and the "L" portion of the traditional BLT was represented by a little cheat: leeks. Even though the leeks were perfect for that dish, I couldn't wait to try the campanelle pasta this time with the traditional lettuce variety. The lettuce actually held up pretty well, and kept it's lovely crisp far into the next afternoon when we both ate the leftovers for lunch.

This dish has less of the rich-cream sauce we loved like last time, and more of the sour cream and mayo zing. It made it more traditional to the true source of the flavors (the sandwich itself), and created a pretty sustainable base to the strong tomato and bacon flavors swimming in it.

Also, use the fresh thyme. It will change your life.


BLT Pasta Salad
makes about 4-6 servings

12 oz campanelle pasta
1/2 C milk
12 oz bacon
3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1 T chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 C mayo
1/4 C sour cream
4 T chopped scallions
5 C chopped lettuce

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with milk in a large bowl, set aside.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, but reserve about 3 tablespoons of drippings in the pan.
3. Add tomatoes, thyme and garlic and toss until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Crumble the bacon into bite-sized pieces and then set aside 1/4 C for garnish.
5. Toss the remaining bacon and tomato mixture with pasta.
6. Mix the mayo, sour cream, and 3 tablespoons scallions with the pasta until evenly combined. Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Add lettuce, toss again.
7. Garnish with reserved bacon and remaining scallions.

recipe source: food network magazine


  1. I LOVE pasta, and pasta with bacon? Double bonus points! ;) I can't wait to try this out!

  2. Love your positivity in looking forward to a nine hour car ride! My husband is taking finals tonight to end the summer and his first year as a part time law student {one down, three to go. boo} while working full time, and sometimes it is SO rough! So thanks for reminding me :) and also thanks for the pasta salad recipe, totally going to pin!

  3. Can you make ahead and just toss with the lettuce right before serving?

    1. I don't see any reason why not :) Good idea!


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