Ian just finished another two week stint in Singapore (not sure if I mentioned it here but he’s an engineer and has to go once a month at the moment to check on a project) which means I just finished another two week of parenting solo. The kids and I have been doing it long enough now that we usually manage pretty well and have a system down. We did have a new twist thrown in as I started cooking school (more on that in another post) so I needed to keep things like cooking even more simple than usual. When the hubs is gone I like to make things I can have to eat for a few days like this slow cooker corn chowder I made last time. We are officially in the full swing of summer weather so I wanted something lighter and more summery. One of my favorite things to eat during the summer is cold pasta salad and they also work great as a side for cookouts and picnics. This mama used this easy pasta salad for stress free meals while the hubs was traveling. 🙂
- 1 Box of Tri Colored Rotini
- 8 strips black pepper bacon
- ½ medium purple onion diced
- About 5 sun dried tomatoes diced
- 1 cup Feta crumbles
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 4 large fresh Basil leaves chopped.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to instructions and drain.
- Fry the 8 strips of bacon until crispy.
- While the pasta and bacon are cooking, chop the onions into a medium dice.
- Next pat the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and either dice them or pulse in a food processor.
- When the bacon is done chop into bacon bits.
- Chop the basil leaves into small pieces.
- Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the bacon, onions, sun dried tomatoes, and basil.
- Add feta crumbles, red wine vinegar, and mayo and blend thoroughly with the other ingredients.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe was fun for me to make because it gave me a chance to practice some of what I’ve been learning in cooking school the last few weeks. My chopping skills need lots of practice but I can see myself getting better and more comfortable! I got little plastic cutting boards similar to the ones we’ve been using in class and they’re great for non slip and so handy to fold and use to pour into the prep bowls. I also picked up the little prep bowls after using them in class and seeing how efficient it is to add your ingredients after you’ve chopped each of them to a little bowl and they’re ready to go when you’re ready to prepare the dish! The big game changer for me though were the onion goggles I discovered in class. My eyes are super sensitive to chopping onions and it always gives me fits when I cook. I may look like Elton John when I wear them but the onions won’t go breaking my heart any more!
I love the colors of the recipe and how light it is. Just perfect for a summer meal with the crunch of the bacon (I used black pepper bacon for extra flavor but you can use any kind of bacon.), the creamy but tart feta, and the tang of the mayo and vinegar. Lots of flavors happening here!
This easy pasta salad does require a bit of chopping (Maybe you need practice too? Haha!) but it’s not hard and it’s so versatile- a side for a picnic or as I did low-maintenance meals while the hubs is away!
You can see my Southwest Pasta Salad from last summer here.