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Jun 22, 2018
Summer picnic with creamy BLT pasta salad
Denielle Noe  Program Administrator

Now that summer has officially begun, I am getting geared up for all of those fun activities that only long days and warm nights can bring. A day at the beach, social gatherings and family picnics are just some of the delightful things I look forward to this time of year. But one of my favorite things to do over the course of the summer is attend a local concert in the park each week. Many towns across North America host these musical events with a wide-range of talent to entertain a crowd. In preparation of all those concerts, I like to pull together some delicious recipes that are easy to make-and-take to these occasions.

My criteria for a make-and-take recipe is simple: A couple of on-hand fixings and some homegrown ingredients straight from my garden! One of my go-to recipes for an outside affair is inspired by my much loved sandwich - the humble BLT. I like to make recipes based on a common food and add in a twist. In this circumstance, take the ingredients you find in a BLT sandwich, add in some pasta, and behold you have a Creamy BLT Pasta Salad! Did I pique your interest yet? If I did, here is the recipe:

Creamy BLT Pasta Salad
1 pound bow tie pasta
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup creamy Ranch salad dressing
½ cup sour cream
1 package real bacon bits
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 heart of crispy romaine lettuce, washed, dried and shredded into bite sized pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Place cooled pasta in a large serving bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream and ranch dressing; mix well. Add dressing mixture to pasta and combine until pasta is thoroughly coated. Add bacon bits, lettuce and tomatoes to the pasta bowl; mix well until all ingredients are combined evenly. Add salt and pepper as desired. Serve at once or chill until needed.

This dish refrigerates well and stores nicely in a container until you are ready to eat it at your event. While it may be too early for you to harvest vegetables, it is never too early to start planning ahead for an upcoming summer event.

What are some of your favorite summer happenings? Be sure to share in the comments below and let us know. We would love to hear from you!

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