BLT + Avocado Pasta Salad

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I do enjoy a BLT on a hot day. Crisp, salty, tender, fresh, hot and cold all at once . . . it’s a surprisingly complex combo, when you think about it. So here I present its classy relation–a BLT-inspired pasta salad where tender, springy Hodgson Mill Veggie Rotini Spirals set the stage for sweet bursts of caramelized cherry tomato, savory crispy prosciutto, and spicy arugula leaves, just barely wilted. Chunks of avocado (which in my house, we call ‘nature’s mayonnaise’) give the salad a creamy richness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Hodgson Mill Veggie Rotini Spirals, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula, about 4 oz
  • 2 oz prosciutto, sliced (may substitute pancetta or thick smoked ham)
  • 1 avocado, ripe
  • 1 pint tub cherry tomatoes, caramelized (see recipe below)
  • olive oil
  • garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions on package, until al dente. Drain and keep covered until needed. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan and cook slices of prosciutto until they’re crispy, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix pasta, prosciutto, tomatoes, and arugula in large bowl. Add chopped avocado and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately, or chill (cover tightly, so avocado doesn’t brown) and serve cold. Season to taste with black pepper and salt (taste first, as the prosciutto adds a surprising amount of salt)

Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 275° F. Cut tomatoes in half, and coat well with 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir in 1 teaspoon chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 60-90 minutes, until slightly collapsed and softened, and turned a brilliant dark red. Use immediately or let cool and store in fridge.

Notes: Keeps 2-3 days in sealed container in fridge. If serving more than 2 hours from mixing, it is recommended that you keep the avocado whole and separate, and slice and mix it in just before serving to avoid browning. If serving warm, you may wish to add tomatoes to prosciutto in hot pan and stir for 1-2 minutes until heated through. For gluten-free option, consider using Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Brown Rice Penne with Milled Flax Seed.



Makes 3-4 servings. Print this Recipe

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