Cold pastas are something I don't necessarily like whatsover. Again, like most things, I grew up having to be forced to eat things such as a cold pasta. Most of the time they have plenty of mayo and I just truly hated eating anything like it.
On the flip side, I had ordered Cafe Express one day for a training function that I had put together for some of the people I work with. Cafe Express has this pesto pasta that I decided to try. I have to say, it was really good. It only has the pasta with the light pesto and I enjoyed the flavor.
Recently, a group of us went on a camping trip and I had volunteered (go fig on that one) to make a meal for our trip. I decided to make some Fried Chicken, Apple Turnovers and this Pesto Pasta. I changed up the recipe as I had some leftover bacon and wanted to make something totally different. Totally me.
1 lb dried pasta
water for boiling
1 cup prepared pesto
1 1/2 cooked bacon (or ham)
1/2 diced sun dried tomatoes
1 to 1 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup pine nuts
Start by bringing a pot full of water to a boil. Add some salt to the water. This helps with the boiling process. Add the pasta to the boiling water.
Once the pasta is al dente, take off the heat and drain. Since this is a cold pasta salad, you could run the pasta under cold water and allow it to cool faster. I like to do this especially if we were planning to eat the day of. I also tend to do it this way in order to avoid the pasta from sticking together if it gradually is cooled down in the open air.
After you have cooled the pasta, place into a large mixing bowl. You can add the pesto to the pasta and combine with a spoon making sure you mix lightly (don't want to over mix). Now if I had the time, I would make homemade pesto, but I don't as I was cooking 3 different dishes while getting ready to pack for the camping trip. Once mixed, place off to to the side.
You can get the sun dried tomatoes. I am using sun dried tomatoes from a can because, again, it cuts from my cooking time since I was getting ready for the camping trip. Sometimes you might find them already diced as I have
Chop up the bacon that you have cooked previously. I normally like to cook my bacon for a multitude of things. I will cook up some bacon for my Bacon Avocado Burger, Twice Baked Potatoes or a Asian Chicken Sandwich, etc. You can't go wrong with adding bacon to a dish such as this. You can add the bacon once it has been chopped up.
With the mozzarella, I tend to like it more in bite sized cubes. I do rinse off some of the brine that the mozzarella was in. Again, dice up the mozzarella and add to the pasta mixture.
Finally, add the pine nuts to the pasta. I like a little crunch to my pasta. Once this has been all incorporated, cover in a cellophane or transfer to a container and place into the refrigerator. This was truly a hit as it was eaten up a couple of days.
Needless to say there was hardly anything left when we drove back home. This is a type of dish that can be changed up in many ways. I have to say that this dish is a type of pasta dish that I can eat over and over again. You can't go wrong with bacon and cheese!!