Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tony's bacon ranch pasta salad

I know it's getting a little past potluck season, but everyone can use a stellar pasta salad recipe to keep in their arsenal, can't they!? Tony is one of my good friends from high school and for a single dude, he sure can cook! He always brings the best stuff to parties, and he actually taught me how to make my first bolognese sauce...true story. He brought this bacon ranch pasta to the White Trash Bash this's an annual thing, we're classy like that. I begged him for the recipe after taking down my weight in this stuff. I literally don't think I ate anything else that day, just a huge plate of pasta salad!

1 package uncooked tri color rotini pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
10 slices of bacon (Tony says "mmmmmm!! more if eating some while cooking")
1 cup mayo (I used greek yogurt)
3 T dry ranch salad dressing mix
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t garlic pepper
1/2 cup milk, or more if dry
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 can sliced black olives
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil, stir in pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes or until al dente, drain. Oh, and just so you know...this trick you see all over Pinterest about water not boiling over if you lay a wooden spoon over the top. It works. I about pooped myself. It boiled right up to the top and almost over and then just started backing off. Don't ask me how it works, all I know is that it does. It's my new fave magic trick...give it a shot!

Place bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook. Eat extra bacon as desired. Drain and cut into pieces. I prefer to use cooking scissors so I don't burn my fingers.

In a large bowl, mix mayo, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, and garlic pepper. Stir in milk unti lsmooth. Place bacon, tomato, black olives, and cheese in bowl and toss to coat with dressing. Cover and chill at least an hour in the fridge. Overnight allows the noodles to soak up the flavors a little bit more.

Toss with additional milk if the salad seems a bit dry. Or you can add ranch dressing to moisten it up if you are a ranch fan.

When I made this, I didn't want to waste half a ranch packet so I used the whole thing....bad move. I loooooove ranch but it was just soooo salty! So don't pull an Abby and ruin this shizz by being a hoarder. If you can squeaze in another potluck, or even if there's a warm football Saturday tailgate party you're hitting...throw this in your cooler and watch it disappear!  Happy hump day, all! I'll leave you with a pic of Main Man and I's 4th annual WTB costumes from this year...don't be perving on those legs ladies, those suckers are alllllll mine!

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