I love a salad that gets people excited when it hits the table, and this combo is sure to do that! Countdown sent me a mystery box and challenged me to create a show-stopping recipe, and this dish is the result!
To make the salad, the bacon is cooked with garlic, onion & a dash or 3 of cream, then it is layered with pasta, corn, cheese, pesto & sundried tomatoes. It has a lovely layered, effect, and when you serve you dig to the bottom and mix everything together well. Bacon-y, cheesy, pesto-y pasta goodness!
It would be perfect for a lunch with lots of people or a pot luck dinner, you’d be the favourite guest! But we also just loved it for dinner at home. Delish.
Pasta Salad with Creamy Bacon & Pesto
- 300 grams Countdown Grated Tasty Cheese
- ½ cup Countdown Cream
- 2 tablespoons Countdown Frozen Diced Onions
- 2 x 100 grams Countdown Pesto
- 500 grams Countdown Honey Cured Bacon sliced into 1 cm slices
- 500 grams Countdown Pasta Spirals
- 500 grams Countdown Sundried tomato halves sliced
- 2 teaspoons Countdown Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Countdown Minced garlic
- 10 grams Countdown Butter
- 2 cups of Countdown Frozen Corn
- 2 sprigs of Basil
Take a pan over a medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, once it has come to temperature, add the onions and butter. Cook for 3 minutes, until translucent, then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring so it does not burn.
Add the bacon, stirring occasionally, for around 6 minutes until cooked.
At this point you may have to drain some of the fat from the pan.
Then place back on a medium heat and add your cream. Cook and stir for around 3 minutes until reduced a little. Take this mix and place in your serving bowl and refrigerate for 15 mins to cool the bacon mix (not too long in the fridge or the cream and bacon will solidify).
Cook pasta as per packet instructions. Once cooked, run under cold water & drain. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the pasta, (so it doesn’t stick) mix and set aside.
Cook corn in a pot of boiling water until cooked through, around 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain and set aside
To assemble: on top of your bacon mix, place the cold pasta, then the corn, then a layer of the pesto. I use the back of a spoon to smooth the pesto on top. Now finish with the sundried tomatoes and add some basil leaves for garnish.
I love using a glass trifle bowl like this so you can see the layers.