Crispy Bacon Pasta Salad with Fresh Herbs.
How much do you LOVE summer salads?
Here’s the sitch: I have NEVER loved pasta salads. Like, never. Like, never ever ever Taylor Swift style.
Sometimes I find myself at a cookout or picnic or barbecue where there aren’t a ton of options aside from a burger, hot dog, pasta salad and fruit, so I cave and take some pasta salad and then… eat it. And I’m just like, no no no no no. I don’t want cold meat cubes. I don’t want cold cheese cubes covered in vinegar.
I mean I always want cold cheese cubes covered in vinegar but I want to be a total snob about it and use the cheese I want with the vinegar I want and add lots of crackers or something plus about thirty pickles.
This lack of pasta salad love also probably stems from my lack of pasta love. But that’s neither here nor there.
So I took it upon myself to make a pasta salad that I actually wanted to eat. And BONUS! You can eat it hot or cold. I like it cold. But hot works too because bacon grease.
FYI: I’m warning you that I’m in a bacon-heavy mood at the moment.
This salad is loaded with so many of my favorite things!
Bacon, and lots of it, obviously.
Sweet corn, because the obsession lives on.
Zucchini chunks, because I needed something else to do besides bread and fry them.
Tomatoes, feta and garlic, because summer flavor.
TONS of herbs. You can use the herbs you’re crushing on at the moment. Can we talk about my purple basil in the photo up there? My herbs are going wild and I just want a bunch of them to be purple now. Too much to ask?
Now we can totally eat pasta salad together. No more complaints from me. Just give me alllll the bacon.
- 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
- 1 cup sweet corn
- 1 cup chopped zucchini squash
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups cooked pasta, I used mini shells
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 4 ounces feta, crumbled
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook until crispy and all the fat is rendered, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease.
Add the corn and zucchini to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium. Stir to coat in the bacon grease, then cook until the corn is slightly golden and the zucchini just starts to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the corn and zucchini to a large bowl. Keep the bacon grease in the skillet.
Add the tomatoes and cooked pasta into the bowl with the zucchini and corn. Season the mixture with the salt and pepper, tossing well. Drizzle in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease, tossing the pasta well to coat.
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil with 1 tablespoon each of the basil and oregano and all of the rosemary. Pour the mixture over the pasta and toss, toss, toss! Stir in the feta and toss well again. Top with the crispy bacon and toss.
You can serve this hot or cold! Add anything else you’d like. I added a bit of sliced grilled corn from the cob on top of mine – had it left in the fridge.
Seriously that bacon though.