Our little cherry tomato plant has suddenly gone crazy and is producing ripened tomatoes almost every day. With quite a few tomatoes on hand, along with an invitation to a potluck, I decided to put together a pasta salad. This version is a take on a BLT sandwich, plus a few other ingredients to add a bit more flavor. Be sure to make this several hours before you plan to serve it so that all the flavors have time to meld together.
BLT Pasta Salad
3/4 of a pound of rotini pasta
1 cup mayo
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
Juice from half of a lemon
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup red onion, diced
8 slices bacon, chopped
2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes (slice large ones in half)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and then spread the pasta on a baking sheet. Allow the pasta to cool in the refridgerator for about an hour. It's important to chill the pasta otherwise, if you skip this step, the hot pasta will make the mayo dressing runny.
While the pasta is cooling mix the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme and onion together in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover the bowl and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Once the pasta has cooled combine it with the mayo mixture in a large bowl. Add in the cherry tomatoes and chopped spinach.
Keep the pasta salad covered in the fridge until ready serve. Shortly before it's served stir in the bacon. If you add it in too soon it won't be as crispy, so hold off adding it in until right before serving.