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Friday, September 1, 2017

Pasta Broccoli Salad with Bacon

My Favorite Pasta Salad

This  is by far my favorite pasta salad and I fix it when I want to take it to a special event. This recipe makes a huge bowl full. In fact it almost fills up one of those large Tupperware bowls that used to be sold in the 70"s and 80's. You remember. They came in green or yellow. If you never had one chances are your mom or grandmother did.

I have to warn you. This is a sweet salad, but it's not as sickeningly sweet as some of those other sweet broccoli salads. In fact you can control the sweetness. I don't add as much sugar as the original recipe calls for. Also, keep in mind the bacon is essential in this salad. Mozzarella cheese also helps it not taste so sweet.
Everyone who tries this loves it and I hope you do too!

Pasta Broccoli Salad withBacon

Ingredients
1 - 16 oz box Bowtie Pasta (you can substitute gluten free pasta. I like brown rice and quinoa pasta from Trader Joe's or Aldi)

1 large head fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces (can use cauliflower too)

¾ -1 cup sweet red onion or Sweet Vidalia onion, chopped (to take some of the hotness away from the red onion you can soak the chopped onion in ice water for 30 mins - 1 hour)

1 lb pkg Hickory Smoked Bacon, cooked

3 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated

Sauce
1-1½ cups Hellman's mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
½ cup sour cream
¾ - 1 cup sugar
3-6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I use 2-3 at the most)

Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain in cold water rinsing off some of the starch so it won't stick together. Place in large bowl.
In the meantime, place bacon on large cookie sheet that had been sprayed with oil in 375º oven and cook til crisp. Remove from oven and place on paper towels to drain.
Put onions, broccoli and mozzarella cheese in same bowl with the pasta.
Make the sauce snd slowly stir it in with the pasta mixture, small amounts at a time, to make sure you don't get too much. Break up the bacon, but do not add the bacon til right before serving. If I take this to a pot-luck or family holiday dinner, I put the bacon in a baggie, placing it on top of the pasta. If the bacoon is cold from storing it in the refrigerator, heat it up on about 40 seconds in the microwave before adding to the salad. Stir and serve!


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